On November 26, 2022, 72 years after the gunfire of the fratricidal war reverberated in the sky of the motherland, the unveiling ceremony of the memorial tower for civilian victims of the Korean War was held in Changwon Special City.
The event was held under the name of ‘Changwon Memorial Tower Unveiling Ceremony and Joint Memorial Ceremony for Civilian Victims of the Korean War’, and proceeded in the order of memorial song performance, progress report, memorial address, memorial tower unveiling and silence, and joint memorial ceremony.
The event was attended by Noh Chi-soo, the chairman of the Korean War Civilian Victims Changwon Bereaved Families Association and their bereaved families, Changwon Special Cases Mayor Hong Nam-pyo, Chairman Jeong Geun-sik of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, Song Gi-in, the first chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, Moon Soon-gyu, Vice Chairman of the Changwon City Council, and citizens. About 250 people attended.
Through the unveiling of the memorial tower on this day, the bereaved family gained a space where they could visit at any time and pay tribute, and were able to alleviate a little bit of the resentment they had lived for a long time, swallowing tears and sadness inside.
The erection of the memorial tower was the earnest wish of the bereaved families. In September 2013, Changwon City enacted the Ordinance on Support for Civilian Victims Commemoration Project before and after the Korean War to prepare the grounds for supporting the memorial service, but the construction of the memorial tower was a project that required a large budget and was far from a reality.
However, with repeated requests from the bereaved family association and the city’s strong will to build a unified Changwon city through the restoration of past history, the location was confirmed at San 73, Gapo-dong, Masanhappo-gu, overlooking the sea of hoe, where numerous victims were buried.
A total of 320 million won was invested in the creation of the memorial tower, including 50 million won for the city and 270 million won for the city. The size of the site is 2,150㎡, the height of the memorial tower is 5.6m, and there are seats for the names of 520 victims.
Construction began in March this year and was completed in August. In addition, the safety fence installation and landscaping maintenance work for the safety of visitors was completed on November 24, and the memorial tower unveiling ceremony and joint memorial service were held on the 26th.
The title of the memorial tower is ‘Tears of the Day’, mediated by the tears of the victims who must have shed in fear of being threatened with their lives without knowing why, and the tears of the bereaved families who must have waited endlessly for those without news.
The three stone pagodas, which contain a wish for the repose of the victims and their bereaved families, were designed to embrace the sculpture of tears in the middle and cross over the sea of Gwaekgae in Masan to the sky.