Shouting of Gwangju in May

March for You on May 1980

On May 30, 1980, a student of Sogang University, Kim Eui Kee committed suicide by leaping from Seoul Christianity building by scattering the message accusing the reality of Gwangju Disaster. Since this event, the effort-making to inform the reality of May 18 Democratic Movement was continued everywhere in the nation.

- On 1982, at the death of Park Kwan Hyun (Incumbent chairman of the student committee on 1980) during his incarceration, the resistance against USA which assisted the new military power directly and indirectly in 1980 led to arsons in USA cultural center in Gwangju City on December 1980, in Busan City on March 1982 and sit-in by occupying USA cultural center Seoul City on May 1985.

A March for You :
A song was sung at the soul wedding between Yun Sang Won who acted for a spokesman at the provincial building at the protest on 1980 and an activist in ‘Wild Fire Night School’, Park Kee Soon (Died on 1978). “A March For You” was composed by the Hwang Seok Young’s wording modified from ‘Moet Ritual Song’ and composed ‘A March for You’ by Kim Jong Yuol. This song has been sung for yearning the democratization at Gwangju, Mangwol Cemetery and streets on every May for the memorial of May 18 Democratic Movement and victims.

The protest on June 1987 and Hearing for Gwangju

The protest in June triggered by accident of torturing and murdering Park Jong Cheol refreshed the will of whole nation to the democratization. Especially, the people recognized ‘the event taken place at Gwangju on May 1980’ newly via the protest on June.
The protest in June triggered by accident of torturing and murdering Park Jong Cheol refreshed the will of whole nation to the democratization. Especially, the people recognized ‘the event taken place at Gwangju on May 1980’ newly via the protest on June.

The Gwangju hearing was a motive of notifying the reality of the dehumanizing acts committed by new military regime while the reality of May 18 Democratic Movement was televised lively through entire nation, but the persons in charge for massacre were urgent to transferring the responsibility by repeating the answer prepared in advance. Since the Administration of Kim Young Sam, the related associations indicted and accused the figures who were directly involved into Gwangju protest such as Chun Doo Hwan and Noh Tae Woo and tried to identify the fact legally.

But the court judged for ‘no arraignment right’ on the related events and figures and the reality identifying through the law was not made. Therefore, the organizations related to May 18, social associations and ordinary people unfolded the campaign extensively for proclaiming and signing for urging the establishment of special law. Eventually, the Administration of Kim Young Sam tried to establish the ‘special law related to May 18’ and identify the reality on the Gwangju protest officially.

Punishment on the persons in charge on December 1995

On December 19, the agreement between the ruling and opposing parties made to establish the and . Chun Doo Hwan, Noh Tae Woo and persons involved into 12·12 and 5·18 incidents were sentenced for the execution and indefinite imprisonment by the crime of ‘rebellion and rebellion purposed murdering.’

But, Administration of Kim Dae Jung proposed and executed the special amnesty on them under the virtue of “national harmonization” and most of the involved persons were specially reinstated till 1998.

Establishment for national Memorial Day on April 1997

The symbol of the protest, ‘May 18’ was established for national Memorial Day on April 29, 1997. The project of cemetery sanctuary was started from 1994 and new May 18’s cemetery was finished on 162,000 m2 land at Unjung-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju City on May 16, 1997. On May 18 of the year, the first May 18 anniversary ceremony was held by the government.

By the execution of the law on the respectful treatment for the protesters of merit in Gwangju established on December 21, 2001, the cemetery was upgraded as National May 18 Democratic Cemetery on July 27, 2002. The cemetery has been positioned as the holy place and a site of history education for the injustice and dictatorship not to be re-rooted on this land.

Based on the May 18 special law, the government established the organizations such as the ‘Past History Settlement Committee’ and ‘National Human Rights Commission of Korea’ and revealed the facts on the violent actions committed at past times by the national power and military dictatorship such as the April 3 Jeju revolution, cases related to democratization movement and mysterious deaths. Especially, the government acquired huge records made by the martial law army on 1980 from the activities for identifying the reality by the Past History Identification Commission in Ministry of National Defense.

Registration of May 18 Democratization Movement archives for the world records heritage of UNESCO on May 2011

On May 2011, UNESCO held the 10th international advisory committee meeting at Manchester, Great Britain and Register Sub-Committee (RSC) assessed twice 84 cases applied by many countries and recommended to register 59 cases (55 cases recommended and 4 cases provisionally recommended) through final review on the records. On 24th, the registration for world records heritage for May 18 democratic movement records was finally declared on May 25, 2011 through signing by the secretary of general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.

Such registration was for the international societies to approve officially the valuable sacrifice of Gwangju citizens as a firm belief. It has a great meaning that the universal human virtue displayed in May 18 Democratic Movement, the spirit of human right, democracy and peace can be shared with all peoples in global village.