August 15th is the National Liberation Day, known as ‘Gwangbokjeol’ in both South and North Korea. ‘Gwangbokjeol’ translates into ‘bringing back the light’ in Korean. This day commemorates Victory over Japan Day, when U.S. and Soviet forces ended the decades-long Japanese occupation of Korea. This is the only national holiday that both South and North Korea celebrate. Civic and religious leaders, activists, youth leaders, and policy experts gather annually in Seoul on August 15th to not only celebrate the historic milestone this day represents, but also to remind the Korean people that everyone may experience the freedom, peace, and prosperity that much of the world takes for granted. This year’s August 15th marks nation’s 75th National Liberation Day.
By Rachel Y Cho