Memorial Day falls on 6 June every year in South Korea. This holiday focuses largely on those who fought in or died in the Korean War, but it is also a time to honour any South Koreans who served in any wars in support of their country’s best interests.
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It is estimated that well over 600,000 South Korean Armed Forces members perished in the Korean War. In 1956, soon after the war, Memorial Day was declared a holiday in their honour. However, Koreans also fought in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere over the years, and those killed in those wars or who fought in them are also remembered on Korean Memorial Day.
On Memorial Day, there is a special ceremony held at Seoul’s national cemetery. It begins at 10am with the ringing of a siren of remembrance. This siren is broadcast across the whole country and is meant to be a time or prayer and reflection and mourning. All day on Memorial Day, the Korean flag is flown at half-mast.