KU Students marched to commemorate 59th anniversary
of April 18 Korea University student movement
- Series of events, including floral tribute ceremony
and National Salvation March, held to mark the day.
On Thursday April 18, 2019, a series of events were held to mark the 59th anniversary of the 1960 April 18 Korea University Student Movement, a movement that ignited the April 19 Revolution the following day.
At 10:30 a.m., a floral tribute ceremony was held in front of the Korea University April 18 Memorial. The ceremony was attended by several leaders, including Jin Taek Chung, the president of Korea University; Ja-Yeol Ku, the president of the KU Alumni Association; Gyu-Jik Park, the president of KU April Revolution Association; members of the KU Academic Board; Ga-Young Kim, the president of the KU Association; and, Young-Sik Oh, the president of Sukjuhoe (former KU student association presidents’ group). The participants paid their respects to those who participated in the April 18 Korea Student Movement.
▲ Jin Taek Chung, the president of Korea University,
bowing in front of the April 18 Memorial before laying flowers at the memorial
KU President Jin Taek Chung said, “In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the March 1 Movement of 1919 and the establishment of Korea's Provisional Government, various projects to honor the historical significance of these events are underway. And next year will mark the 60th anniversary of the 1960 April 18 Korea University Student Movement and the April 19 Revolution. The Constitution of the Republic of Korea acknowledges the historical debt which the country owes to the March 1 Movement and the April 19 Revolution. In this context, the history of Korea University, which was founded in 1905, has been inextricably linked to the history of the Republic of Korea. The March 1 Movement was initiated by Byung-hee Sohn, who was then running Boseong College, the predecessor to Korea University. The April 19 Revolution would not have been possible without Korea University. Fifty-nine years ago today, our alumni streamed out of the main gate of the campus carrying placards reading ‘For Liberty, Justice, Truth’ to fight against injustice. In other words, national sovereignty, democracy, and Korea University’s ideals of ‘Liberty, Justice, and Truth,’ beliefs that had been pursued since the March 1 Movement of 1919, were put into practice through the April 18 Movement. It is fair to say that the April 18 Movement was the sum of democracy and civil rights and the essence of the spirit of Korea University. If you ask Korea University’s alumni what is one accomplishment that Korea University should be most proud of in its 114-year history, many of them would say the March 18 Movement without hesitation, because this movement demonstrated the spirit of resistance to injustice and status quo, that is the spirit of Korea University.” He went on to say, “Korea University alumni have always stood at the forefront of responding to the calling of the times and paving the path towards social innovation. Now is the time for us to think about what is the ideal spirit of Korea University and what is our calling of the time in the face of the fourth industrial revolution. And I believe that this fast-changing world filled with uncertainty needs people with the spirit of fearless challenge and creativity, and that the role of Korea University is to cultivate talent who can meet these needs. In order to do so, Korea University needs an environment where students can practice creative and innovative thinking based on mutual understanding and academic convergence. We will make continuous efforts to create a culture of mutual respect and a culture of ‘people first,’ so that creativity and innovation can flourish on campus.” “We’ll continue to inherit and develop our seniors’ noble spirits through a human-centered education based on Korea University’s ideals of ‘Liberty, Justice, and Truth,’” added KU President Chung.
Ja-Yeol Ku, the president of the KU Alumni Association, said, “Through the March 18 Movement, Korea’s democratization advanced and the stature of Korea University grew even higher within Korean society. The courage of our alumni who participated in the movement has become an important part Korea University’s tradition. The March 18 Movement clearly showed the important role of Korea University in Korean history and society.” He also stated, “The 59th anniversary reminds us of the noble values of invincible courage, enlightened intellect, and conscience in action of our seniors. When we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the movement next year, I hope that once again the April spirit will vibrate within the heart of each and every Korea University member.”
Gyu-Jik Park, the president of KU April Revolution Association, said, “I still remember April 18, 1960 vividly, when students gathered for liberty, justice, and truth in front of the main gate of the campus. I can’t believe we mark the 59th anniversary this year. I’d like to recommend current Korea University students to read A Chronicle of the April 18 Korea University Student Movement to help develop their insights into the society in which they live. Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the April 18 Movement. I hope we can continue this tradition of honoring those who lost their lives to the democratic cause.”
Young-Sik Oh, the president of Sukjuhoe, former KU student association presidents’ group, said, “The April 18 Movement is the manifestation of Korea University students’ determination to save our country from dictatorship and to bring freedom and justice to the nation. The students took to the streets calling for liberty to cut the chain of oppressive government, and their courage has become part of the belief and spirit of Korea University. In the face of the fourth industrial revolution, Korea University is now nurturing future global leaders. I hope that the Korea University students of today recall the spirit of the April 18 Movement. You can gain insights into the future when you learn from history. This is why we gather today to commemorate the 1960 April 18 Movement. We should never forget April 18 1960 for democracy and the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula.”
Before the anniversary, Korea University had launched a book review contest encouraging KU students to write essays after reading A Chronicle of the April 18 Korea University Student Movement. Many students submitted entries. On April 18, the contest winners were presented with their awards.
The floral tribute ceremony was followed by the April 18 National Salvation March at 1:00 p.m. A total of around 5,000 KU students grouped by college gathered in front of the main gate of the campus, and marched toward the April 19 National Cemetery. Once they arrived at the cemetery, the students paid their respects at the April 19 Revolution Monument and then marched back to the campus.