Mount Daeseong National Cemetery

From Themys Project
Mount Daeseong National Cemetery
대성산국립묘지
Mount Daeseong National Cemetery,
Details
Established22 March 1444
Location
Hanam-gu district, Daedo
Country Zhenia
TypeNational
Owned byMinistry of Defense
Size351 hectares (870 acres)
No. of graves470,000+
No. of cremations200,000+
Websitemountdaeseongnatcem.gov.zhen

The Mount Daeseong National Cemetery (Seomun: 大聖山國立墓地, Jinmun: 대성산국립묘지), formerly known as the Mount Daeseong Imperial Mausoleum, is a Zhenian national military cemetery located in Daedo's Hanam-gu district, on the northern side of Mount Daeseong, its namesake. Its 351 hectares (870 acres) are home to the graves of Zhenian nationals who had fought in the nation's conflicts, as well as high-ranking government officials and individuals deemed to have contributed greatly to Zhenian society. The Mount Daeseong National Cemetery is by far the largest of the six national cemeteries directly under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense.

Initially established as an imperial mausoleum for the imperial family of the Empire of Zhenia, it was converted into a cemetery for Zhenian nationals that had fought in the Zhenian unification wars as well as the imperial mausoleum, under the request of Emperor Seongjo. The Republic government continued to use the cemetery as a national military cemetery after the December Revolution, while also introducing cremation for those that request it. It has since then been used as the primary cemetery for Zhenians who had died in the nation's military conflicts, while also being the primary resting place for Zhenian nationals that have contributed significantly to Zhenian society and history, particularly Zhenian Chancellors and Premiers.

History

The current site of the Mount Daeseong National Cemetery was a part of the estate directly belonging to the Imperial House of Li well before the establishment of Imperial Zhenia; records claim that the family had owned the current site as early as 800 AC. At the time considered a part of Seongnam prior to the adjustment of administrative borders during the Empire, the area surrounding Mount Daeseong today was of great significance to the imperial house, as Mount Daeseong was said to have been the origin of the clan and the imperial house of Li altogether.

Establishment

Expansion after the December Revolution

Sections

Memorials

Temple of War

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at the center of the cemetery.

Located at the center of the cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Zhenian: 무명용사의 묘역) is dedicated to all unknown deceased Zhenian soldiers that have served in Zhenian conflicts but whose remains have not been identified yet. It is an obelisk with an eternal flame to its south, surrounded by seven roads that extend from the tomb like an asterisk; each road symbolizes the military conflicts the deceased Zhenian soldiers had served in. The southern central road is dedicated to Zhenian veterans in the Zhenian unification wars, while the following roads, in clockwise order, are the two Great Wars and other major modern conflicts.

Imperial Mausoleum

Other memorials

Burial procedures

Notable burials

The first to be buried in Mount Daeseong National Cemetery were Emperor Seongjo and 263 veterans who had participated in the Zhenian unification wars and had died in 1443. 433 recipients of the Order of the Imperial Eagle medal have been buried in the cemetery during the Empire of Zhenia, while 128 more were buried after the December Revolution. All Order of the Imperial Eagle recipients, as well as dead veterans to have been buried due to their participation in the Zhenian unification wars, have been buried in Sections 2-Ga through 2-Sa, as well as Sections 3-Ga through 3-Da. Since Emperor Seongjo, all four emperors of imperial Zhenia and their direct family members have been buried in the Imperial Mausoleum.

Former Zhenian Chancellors are eligible to be buried in Mount Daeseong National Cemetery regardless of military service or whether or not they were wartime service members, as they have been involved in the control of the Defense Forces during their term as commander-in-chief. Premiers are also eligible for burial in Mount Daeseong, under the precondition that they have completed military service prior to their term. Among the Chancellors, however, only four - Lee Hongsik, Kim Yongseop, Lee Jongseo and Jung Jisang - are permanently buried in Mount Daeseong; the remainder have chosen to be buried in other national cemeteries, separate national memorials or within their family cemeteries. Former Zhenian Chancellors and Premiers that are eligible for burial in Mount Daeseong are buried in Section 1-Da, which are reserved for important individuals that have contributed significantly to the Republic.

Controversy

Mount Daeseong National Cemetery has been the subject of controversy from the left and right alike, not due to its existence but in regards to who is eligible for burial within it. As of today, those who were buried in Mount Daeseong include former imperial and Great War military leaders during the First Republic, some of which have been responsible for wartime atrocities - while major war criminals have been forbidden in Mount Daeseong, the existence of imperial and Great War-era military leaders in the cemetery has been a subject of scrutiny and criticism from the nation's left-wing politicians. At the same time, however, the burial of Zhenian military (armed police) and civilian figures during the Second Republic, including those who were Allied collaborators, have also been eligible for burial in the cemetery - a subject of criticism from the nation's right-wing politicians and activists. While the Ministry of Defense has so far maintained a neutral position regarding the controversies of who gets buried in the national cemetery, the controversy is set to continue for some time.

See also