Looking into the modern history of Korea, there are many heartbreaking incidents. The biggest event among them by far is the 4.19 Revolution. Against the Rhee Syng-man regime, which conducted illegal constitutional revision and became a dictatorship, the citizens, especially students, returned the country to normal through many demonstrations. Much innocent blood was spilt, and people lost their family and friends. Chung-Ang University lost six students who fought bravely in the 4.19 Revolution. The tower in front of Chung-Ang University's Library in Seoul Campus, which students absently pass by, was built to honor these six students. The name of this tower is the Eui-hyeol. In this April issue of Chung-ang Herald, we would introduce the meaning of the tower to commemorate the 60thanniversaryof the 4.19 Revolution.
What Was The 4.19 Revolution?
The 4.19 Revolution wasan anti-dictatorial democracy movement launched by students and citizens on April 19th, 1960. Former President Rhee Syng-man ruled the country for a long period of time from 1948 to 1960, by manipulating the number of votes cast and changing ballot boxes during elections. In Masan (which was integrated into Changwon in 2010), citizens staged a violent protest, and the Rhee Syng-man regime tried to suppress it with violence. Then on April 11th, Kim Joo-yeol, whowent missing duringthe protest in Masan, was found dead with tear gas in his eyes. This prompted citizens to stage a second demonstration through their anger. However, the students were attacked on their way back to school and some were seriously injured. Angry citizens and students across the country eventually staged a massive protest on April 19 to call for Rhee Syng-man to step down from his post.
The Meaning of Eui-hyeol Tower
a. Who named theEui-hyeol Tower?
Shortly after the 4.19 Revolution, Chung-Ang University held a spiritual rite for six students to console their souls and builta memorial tower in honor of them. Their names are Ko Byung-rae, Kim Tae-nyeon, Cho Sang-young, Song Kyu-suk, Seo Hyun-moo, and Ji Young-a. The tower was originally located in front of the Young Shin Hall but was moved to the front of the library as the university has beenrebuilt over time. The meaning of the tower’s name, Eui-hyeol(의혈/蟻穴), symbolizes the righteous blood shed by these six patriots. Park Myung-soo, the former president of the student council, asked poet Cho Byung-hwa, who was a professor of Korean literature at the time, to name the tower.Poet Cho named the tower“Sawol”which means April. However, Park Myung-soo did not follow the name the poet gave, and named it Eui-hyeol, because he wanted to convey the blood the students shed in the tower's name.
b. Writings left by graduates
In front of six memorials dedicated to the six victims is an inscription left on the stone by the 64th graduates of Chung-Ang University, who were their friends. Reading the graduates' writing, it shows how fiercely students fought against unfairness and how deep the sorrow of those who werelost. On the other hand, you can also feel how proud they were of having gone throughthe revolution. Like the saying, "When Eui-hyeol crosses the Han River, history changes," Chung-Ang University's identity now exists because there are students who protested against injustice without succumbing.
The Chung-ang University’s field manual, ‘Eui-hyeol Chung-ang’ is a lesson from the 4.19 Revolution and a representative ideology of the school. It is also part of an article written by ProfessorKim Yong-ok, to commemorate students who passed away in the revolution. We should reflect on what they wanted to protect as Chung-Ang University students. 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of the 4.19 Revolution. When you see the names of six students as you pass by the Eui-hyeol tower, let's bring their intentions, and sacrifices, to mind.
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