March In March
My high school has a distinct historical value. My school, 'Jeong-myung Girls' High 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 got killed during fighting for the country. Therefore, my high school has held an annual ceremony to celebrate these events and commemorate the independence. Every year the students reenacted that heroic day with marching and playing a performance.
At first, the school handed out Hanbok, the tradition Korean clothes to all students to recreate the valuable movement. The clothes were made of old hemp so that it looks like it came from the past. We washed and ironed it out at home. Then my friends and I drew Korea flag with crayons together. The next day, we wore that old Hanbok, picked up the clumsy hand-made flags, and headed to the school.
The street march started from the school and the first destination was Yudal Mountain which is a representation of the town. 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. After we reach the Yudal Mountain and went round it, we changed the path and headed to central railroad station. When we arrived at the station, we're all exhausted and embarrassed about what we wore. The school wanted people to participate somehow in this celebration, so that all students gathered in front of the station for another big event.
For the last part of the event, all students sat in front of the station. Then the Drama Club members in my school performed a musical about the March 1st movement. In the scene, our ancestors prepared the national flags and motivated people to fight for the country just like us the day before. When the time had come, crowds of people spilled out on the streets with flags in their hands and shouted for the independence of Korea. Unfortunately, most of the fighters were massacred. From this moment, my friends and I forgot tiredness and cried soundlessly. But in the final act, Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule. At the moment, the people at the station sang a song of freedom with us and applauded the performers.
Every spring, students in Jeong-myung Girls' High School prepared traditional dress and the nation's flag for reenacting this valuable historical event. It was not easy for 17 year-old girls to walk around the town for 5 hours. During the parade, we were so tired that everyone complained the concept seems an outdated view. However, in the end of the ceremony, we saw a lot of Koreans including ourselves sharing sorrow, joy, and love as one people. I had a privilege to witness patriotism glowing in our ancestors' breast was still in us that day.