On 6 June 2018, Korean Memorial Day was observed at the National War Cemetery in Daejeon, and Ji Chang Wook was one of the active soldiers chosen to participate in this year’s ceremony.
Korea’s Memorial Day ceremonies first started in 1956, when every year at 10:00am, a siren broadcasts all over the country, and people stop to hold silent prayers for one minute whilst the South Korean flag is lowered to half-staff. This year’s remembrance, entitled “Remembering 438,030 in the Name of the Republic of Korea,” will commemorate the 438,030 fallen men and women to date who perished while serving during the Korean War, other significant wars and battles, and in public service (police and firefighters), and are interred throughout its 10 military cemeteries and columbariums in Korea.
10,000 people were invited guests at this year’s ceremony, including national persons of merit, surviving families, various government representatives, and ordinary citizens. The salute to the Korean national flag and the singing of the national anthem was performed by actors Ji Chang Wook, Im Si Wan, Kang Ha Neul and Joo Won. Actress Han Ji Min read the poem “Let us all become green peace”, written by Lee Hae In and backed by a cellist performing Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2 (Sarabande) in D Minor.
After a speech by President Moon Jae In, Ji Chang Wook, Im Si Wan, Kang Ha Neul and Joo Won returned to the stage and joined noted singer Choi Baek Ho in the performance of “The Song of the Old Soldier”. The military chorus reappeared with the soldiers, all singing “The Song of Memorial”.
The band Rose Motel also performed “We Together”, as members of the Korean Air Force executed a flyover above the grounds. The official ceremony ended with a graveside service in remembrance of three female firefighters who perished in an vehicle accident while on duty in Asan, South Chungcheong Province on 30 March 2018, and President Moon Jae In presenting the Korean flag to their surviving family members.
Reporters noted that Ji Chang Wook was well-received when dressed in uniform, and boasted a tall and warm-looking appearance while his dignified position impressed the viewers. Now it’s back to his base in Cheorwon to continue his military service. Salute!