Family, friends, politicians mark Roh’s anniversary

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Family, friends, politicians mark Roh’s anniversary


노무현 전 대통령 서거 1주기인 23일 오후 서울 대한문 앞에 마련된 분향소에서 시민들이 조문하고있다. 일부 시민은 6월 2일 지방선거에서 민주당의 기호를 연상시키는 숫자 ‘2’를 크게 부각한 ‘투표촉구’ 포스터를 들고 조문했다. [뉴시스]

GIMHAE - Despite rainy and chilly weather, ceremonies to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of former President Roh Moo-hyun attracted his supporters, government officials and politicians across the country yesterday.

The former president killed himself on May 23, 2009 by jumping off a cliff in his hometown of Bongha village weeks after prosecutors began an investigation into allegations that he and his family received at least $5 million from Park Yeon-cha, former chairman of Taekwang Industrial and a longtime patron for Roh.

A memorial next to Roh’s tomb in Bongha village began at 1:30 p.m., and it attracted over 15,000 visitors, including Grand National Party floor leader Kim Moo-sung, Democratic Labor Party head Kang Ki-kab and Public Administration and Security Minister Maeng Hyung-kyu. The ceremony was presided over by popular comedian Kim Jae-dong.

A video clip on Roh’s legacy was played and a memorial poem and memorial addresses were read by former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan and poet Do Jong-hwan.

“I can’t help but grieve for what happened just a year ago,” said Roh Geon-ho, son of the late former president, who spoke for Roh’s family. “But I’m asking you [my father] to forget about the tragedy that happened a year ago and remember the path you traversed and wanted to pursue. I also want to thank you people who share the grief and sadness with us.”

The ceremony that lasted for one hour and 40 minutes and concluded after some 100 visitors set 523 butterflies free.

Roh’s tomb site was opened to the public and visitors placed flowers on it. Over 15,000 granite stones surround Roh’s tomb and each stone has an engraved message on its face.

Kim Gyeong-su, Roh’s former secretary, is director general of the Bongha Foundation, which organized the memorial. He said over 30,000 people visited Bongha village.

“So many people came to Bongha village today,” said Han Myeong-sook, a former prime minister who is running for Seoul mayor for the June 2 local elections. “I want to achieve his unfulfilled dream by winning the local election.”

A concert to remember Roh was held in Seoul Plaza in central Seoul from 6 p.m. yesterday and attracted 5,000 visitors. The event was broadcast live to Busan University, where residents gathered.

Police estimated over 3,000 visitors paid their respects at a temporary mourning altar set up in front of Daehanmun of Deoksu Palace near the Seoul’s City Hall.

By Hwang Sun-yoon, Kim Mi-ju []

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[노무현 전 대통령 1주기] 서울광장 추모제 … 대한문 조문 행렬

23일 서울광장에서는 1만5000여 명(경찰 추산, 주최 측 3만 명)의 시민이 참석한 가운데 노무현 전 대통령 추모 문화제가 열렸다. 가수 강산에와 ‘노래를 찾는 사람들’ 등이 공연하는 콘서트 형식으로 열린 서울광장 추모 문화제에는 대형 스크린을 통해 부산대학교에서 노무현재단 주최로 열린 추모 콘서트가 생중계됐다. 일부 참석자는 콘서트가 끝난 후에도 서울광장 천막에서 밤을 새웠다.

행사의 사회를 맡은 영화배우 문성근씨는 “민주당 한명숙 서울 시장 후보가 24일부터 매일 저녁 7시 명동에서 한반도 평화를 지키기 위한 10일 행동에 들어간다”며 “남북 평화와 협력의 정신을 계승하는 것이 노 전 대통령의 유지인데, 안보 무능의 책임자가 아무런 책임을 지지 않고 있기 때문”이라고 말했다.

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