This 76th Anniversary of Korea's National Liberation Day was a glorious day when the remains of independence fighter General Hong Beom-do has returned to South Korea from Kazakhstan. On this National Liberation Day, the remains of General Hong was buried at the Daejeon National Cemetery. This means that 78 years after his death, he returned to his country, which achieved independence as he wished.
General Hong Bum-do teaches us the value of true independence today. During the War of Independence, General Hong always said, “Our righteous independence fighters do not count the success or failure of things, but there is only death. I always give my subordinates a lesson that even the last one of us should have the will to the last and call out the independence of Korea and stop after death.” What a great spirit and determination of the Independence fighter.
General Hong, who gave his 30 million compatriots a dream of independence, has various modifiers in front of his name. He is known as a legend of the War of Independence by defeating the Japanese army while traveling through Mt. Baekdu and the vast plain of Manchuria. The Japanese military was so afraid of him that it called him a 'Flying General', and the Korean people respected him enough to call him 'the tiger of Mt. Baekdu' and 'the general who uses the method of warp speed'.
How can we only settle down to our daily lives as one of the people
when our country is in bad luck?
General Hong threw himself into the struggle for the righteous army during the period from the end of the Joseon Dynasty to the Korean Empire. He organized the Korean Independence Army in Gando area and conducted a Seoul Advance Operation. He led army in 'the Battle of Bongoh-dong', which destroyed the Japanese chasing battalion, to victory, and led in 'the Battle of Cheongsan-ri', which resulted in a large-scale victory with General Kim Jwa-jin. In particular, 'the Battle of Bongoh-dong' is significant as the first victory of Allied Forces of the Independence, called the 'first revolution of the War of Independence.' According to the evaluation of the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, this victory greatly encouraged the will of the Manchurian Independence Army, which led to active armed struggle.
He, who was dedicated to armed struggle for the independence of Korea, planned to move to Russia to rebuild the independence fighters, but was forced to move to Kazakhstan under the policy for compulsory movement of Koreans. He, who rose to the rank of commander-in-chief of the Korean Independence Army and once commanded the Duman River and scared the life out of Japan, died in Kazakhstan in 1943 without seeing the independence of his homeland.
He was considered the best in the anti-Japanese armed struggle, however after liberation, he was alienated from the South and North of Korea. He moved to Primorskii to escape the large-scale subjugation by the Japanese and became a member of the Soviet army, and was thoroughly ostracized from the South, which made anti-Communism a national policy, after liberation. He was ostracized by the North for being compared to Kim Il-sung and by China and Soviet because his anti-Japanese movement did not seek to establish a communist government.
As this situation continued, the Korean government tried to do its best to honor those who devoted themselves to the nation. It has been a long-cherished desire of the Korean government to repatriate the remains of General Hong, who reminds Koreans of the nation's existence and reflects on its patriotism. The Korean government has been struggling for a long time since 1994, pushing for a project to maintain his tomb. Finally, this year, after steady negotiations with the Kazakhstan government, the visit of Kazakhstan president to Korea led to the repatriation of General Hong's remains.
The true meaning of repatriating the remains of General Hong Beom-do is not just about repatriating the remains of fighter for national independence. People need to pay attention to the true values and ideals that General Hong Beom-do and independence activists dreamed of and achieved. In other words, it is necessary to take the lead in carving out one's own destiny by reflecting the devotion and the spirit of sacrifice that contributes to the development of independence, freedom, justice, equality, the separation of powers, democracy, and the community.