Proclamation Marking Korean Independence Movement Adopted in NYS Legislature

On Jan. 15, Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (in red in front row) and Assemblymember Ron Kim (in front row) were delivering a proclamation to honor Korea’s March 1st Movement and Yu Gwan-sun. (Photo via The Korea Daily)

On Jan. 15, the New York State Senate and Assembly adopted a resolution to designate March 1, 2019 as a memorial day to mark the centennial of the March 1st Movement, and to honor Yu Gwan-sun’s legacy in the fight for Korea’s independence from Japan. Here are excerpts from The Korea Times’ coverage:

On Jan. 15,  the resolution introduced by state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky was approved unanimously. (…) In the New York State Assembly, the resolution was adopted by Assemblymember Ron Kim, Edward Braunstein, Erik Dilan, Yuh-Line Niou, and Dan Quart.

After the resolution was approved, two senators – Stavisky and John Liu – and three Assemblymembers – Ron Kim, Erik Dilan, and Dan Quart – issued a proclamation.

(….)

Yu Gwan-sun studied at “Ewha Haktang,” the first women’s educational institution in South Korea, which was established by American missionary Alice Sharp. There, Yu learned American values – freedom, justice, equality and human rights – and stood up against Japanese colonial rule at a young age.

Assemblymember Kim said: “I am very grateful that the resolution was adopted. It means that all New Yorkers can learn about the history of the March 1st Movement and the spirit of Yu who devoted herself to peace and human rights in her teens. My long-term goal is to educate public school students in New York City about Korea’s March 1st independence movement.”

Nearly 50 Koreans from various associations, the Korean National Assembly delegation composed of Young-sun Park, Kyung-hyup Kim, Chang-won Pyo, Dong-sup Lee, and Jin-gyu Ham, and Consul General of South Korea in New York Hyo-sung Park watched the resolution adopted in the chamber of the New York State Capitol in Albany. This resolution will also be delivered to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.


Korea Daily reported:

Assemblymember Edward Braunstein said: “I was deeply impressed when I visited the prison where Yu was sent in South Korea.”

The consul general of South Korea in New York, Hyo-sung Park, said: “Today is a historic day for Korea. As consul general, I feel proud of all Koreans.”


Another Korea Daily article reported comments from community members:

Jung-Ja Park, 88, who moved from Hwang Hae province, North Korea, was a 14-year-old girl on Independence Day on Aug. 15, 1945. As she heard about the resolution, she brushed away tears and sang a Korean song with the message “Long live Korean independence! Mansei!” She said: “I will never forget this song. Every time I sing this song, it makes me cry.”

Celine Kim, 26, the youngest Korean American among the attendees, said: “I never heard about the life of Yu Gwan-sun or the March 1st Movement in school in America. I appreciate the effort of the Korean community to recall Korean history.”

At the same time, this resolution is considered significant not only for the Korean community but also for others.

Assemblymember Philip Ramos said: “This resolution is meaningful for me as a Puerto Rican. Human rights is a universal value (…).”

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