I’ve made many mentions of Seoul’s hot, muggy summers. Many afternoons were spent debating whether or not to go for a hike, to walk into downtown Suyu or to head down to 7-11 for an ice pop. The threat of a mid-afternoon rainstorm, plus the added effect the humidity had on my thick hair, encouraged me to stay either poolside or in my air-conditioned apartment.

On a recent day off, a few of us planned to metro out to a park to ride bikes and have a picnic. Some morning drizzle and oppressive humidity canceled those plans, so instead Jeanette and I decided to check out a local site neither of us had been to. Erin recommended going to the 4-19 Cemetery just up the road from SEV. A five-minute walk away, the cemetery was the last thing I expected to come across in the back roads of Suyu.

Beyond the front gate is a gorgeous park, complete with a pond, benches and picnic area. Past all of that lies the actual cemetery. From what I’ve been able to gather, the cemetery is a final resting place for the students who died during the April Revolution, a 1960 protest against corrupt government practices.

The largely student-led protest in Seoul, which consisted of a three-mile walk from Korea University to the house of the president (known in Korea as the Blue House), ended when soldiers fired on the mass of demonstrators, killing 125 students in the process. Many of the students are buried at the cemetery, their faces etched on headstones, brightly colored flowers resting in vases next to each grave.

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Check out the mountains in the distance

Check out the mountains in the distance

 

After walking around the cemetery, Jeanette and I sat in the park. We walked the old ajummas picnic, we nearly got killed by some little boys who were throwing toys into the tree above us, and we rejoiced in finding a new place spend time on a too-hot-and-humid-to-function summer afternoon.

 

I forgot to take a picture of the pond, but Jeanette was testing out camera settings and shot this on her digicam. She actually took half a dozen photos, but this is the only one that made it online. Not pictured: the fountain that I was blocking, and the fish in the pond. Or as we say in Korea, "pishh-uhh."

I forgot to take a picture of the pond, but Jeanette was testing out camera settings and shot this on her digicam. She actually took half a dozen photos just like it, but this is the only one that made it online. Not pictured: the fountain that I was blocking, and the fish in the pond. Or as we say in Korea, "pishh-uhh."

 

 

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