Sacrificial spirit will revive usYesterday marked the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai, China.
In 1919, upholding the March 1 Independence Movement, our forefathers established the first government of a democratic Korean republic. Our present-day Constitution declares that the Republic of Korea inherits the legitimacy of the provisional government.
It is not too much to say that the provisional government prepared the foundation for today’s Korea. The official name of the country was also adopted from the provisional government.
Despite extremely difficult challenges, the government eluded pursuit by Imperial Japan and carried out its fight for independence. After liberation, leaders of the provisional government continued to make efforts to preserve Korea’s independence by, for instance, opposing trusteeship.
Many organizations have held various events to commemorate the 90th anniversary. Yesterday, commemorations were held in Seoul, Shanghai, Chongqing and Los Angeles.
At the event in Seoul, President Lee Myung-bak emphasized that the provisional government was the root of the Republic of Korea and called on the people to unify, the basic spirit of the provisional government, to overcome the current global economic crisis.
On the same day, the government revealed its plan to build a shrine to hold memorial tablets of around 20,000 patriotic ancestors and implemented measures to honor patriots who gave their lives for the country.
We remember the spirit of our forefathers because their patriotic activities still bear important meaning today.
As the president has implored us, the patriotism of our forefathers, who sacrificed everything to restore our country, can help us overcome today’s economic crisis. We exist here today thanks to our forefathers’ sacrifices.
Our descendants will prosper on this land when we remember our forefathers’ sacrifice and do as they did.
We do not intend to incite fervid nationalism by arguing that individuals must sacrifice themselves for the sake of their country. We only emphasize that we need to realize our life is decisively dependent on the country’s survival and prosperity and we need to make efforts to pursue public virtue.
Our society is in chaos due to the Park Yeon-cha scandal in which a former president is allegedly involved and the Jang Ja-yeon case in which many influential figures have been named.
At such a time, remembering our forefathers’ fights and looking in on ourselves can be like drinking cool water to quench our thirst.