March In March
My high school in Mokpo, 'Jeong-myung Girls' High School' has a distinct historical value. My school played an important role in the March 1st Independence Movement of Korea. Many students carried on the movement in defiance of Japanese coercion and killed during fighting for the country. The school pledged not to visit the Yasukuni war shrine of worship and decided to close down for a while. It reopened after Korea achieved independence in 1945. Also, the Declaration of Independence written at the time was discovered in the old school building. Therefore, my high school has held an annual ceremony to celebrate all of these events and commemorate the independence, which is that students reenacted that heroic day, the March 1st, 1919.
To recreate the valuable movement, there were several things to prepare. At first, students should learn historical facts and the spirit of the movement a day before the ceremony. When teacher showed a great documentary about the independence of Korea, we wrote down our thoughts and feelings after watching it. Secondly, the school handed out Hanbok, the tradition Korean clothes to all students. Then we wash and iron out it at home with all our heart and wore it to school the next day. Thirdly, my friends and I drew Korea flag with crayons and attached it to a stick in the morning of that day. After all of these preparations, the whole school was finally ready to march through the town.
The street march started from the school and the first destination was Yudal Mountain which represents Mokpo. We walked along the side of the road crying aloud "Hurrah! Independence of Korea!" and holding our hands up high. Some of the students sang a marching song of the movement and clapped their hands. The site of more than 300 students doing this parade was quite solemn and touching. After we reach the Yudal Mountain and went round it, we changed the path and headed to central railroad station, the Mokpo Station, because the most people were there. The school wanted people to participate somehow in this celebration, so that all students gathered in front of the station for another big event.
When we sat in a big circle, the Drama Club members in my school entered in and performed a musical about the March 1st movement. At the Act 1, they showed the quiet night before the rise. In the scene, our ancestors seemed just like us. They prepared the national flag and motivated people to fight for the country. Then, they waited in fear and anticipation until the time had come. In act 2, crowds of people spilled out on the streets with flags in their hands. They shouted for the independence of Korea and resisted against Japanese imperialism. Unfortunately, most of the fighters were killed and the Korean Peninsula was plunged into darkness. Many people at the station cried soundlessly in this scene. But finally, Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule and all performers, even the dead ones came out and sang a song for freedom. At the moment, the people surrounded us sang a song with us and applauded the performers.
Every spring, students in Jeong-myung Girls' High School prepared traditional dress and the nation's flan for reenacting this valuable historical event. They can experience the dark period of Korea and ancestors' sacrifices. It was not easy for 17 year-old girls to walk around the town for 5 hours. During the parade, my friends and I were exhausted and tired. We even complained that the concept seems an outdated view. However, in the end of the ceremony, we paid tribute to the spirit of those patriots who gave up their lives for our country. I'm so proud of this tradition of my high school, and also believe that it is important to remember and be grateful of our history to all of us.