Seoul National Cemetery: Sacred Ground for Korean Patriots and Martyrs for Over 60 Years
210 Hyeonchung-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul. Seoul National Cemetery, the first national cemetery in Korea, is nestled among the ridges of Gwanaksan Mountain alongside the meandering Han River, with Gongjakbong (Peak) at its center.
The site of the cemetery was selected after an 11-month survey that was carried out during the Korean War, when the number of casualties was surging. Constructed in the first spring after the end of the Korean War, this 14-million-square-foot cemetery is now the eternal resting place for countless patriots, martyrs, and soldiers of the Korean Empire who sacrificed their lives in times of national crises.
Now, it has been more than 60 years since the ceremonial gun salute was first performed for the burial of the remains of the first anonymous soldier. Years after its establishment, this military cemetery was promoted to the status of a national cemetery, with nine graveyards and various memorial facilities. However, Seoul National Cemetery eventually became completely full, and separate enshrinement facilities were constructed in 2005.
Innumerable remains and memorial tablets have filled the cemetery, but there are many more named and nameless soldiers who have not been interred there. Seoul National Cemetery serves as a space that is open to everyone to remember and pay tribute to them all.