On May 18th, my fourth and final full day in South Korea, many of us from the conference boarded one of the four buses lined up outside the Holiday Inn and headed for the National Cemetery for the 10 a.m. event. On the bus, we were told that just as many people are furious with the government for the way it handled, and continues to handle, the Sewol Ferry Disaster, many people are unhappy with the official, government sanctioned event to commemorate the May 18th Uprising. The details about the fury I didn't understand, but the disconnect was so significant that families of victims from the May 18th Uprising refuse to participate in the government event. Rather than participate in the government event, the families and other progressive organizations staged an alternative event about half a mile away from the government ceremony.
|Guests in white hats before Official May 18th Event|
|People's May 18th Event|
|Grave Site at Cemetery|
Of course, I don't know much about the issue. But if that's true, it would seem to be disappointing.