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Memorial service for Roh Moo-hyun held at Bongha Village Updated: 2019-05-23 13:03:49 KST

Today marks the tenth anniversary of former President Roh Moo-hyun's death.
A commemorative ceremony was held this afternoon in Bongha Village in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do Province, which is the late president's final resting place.
For more, our Park Hee-jun is at Bongha village.
Hee-jun, tell us more about today's event.

Devin.
The memorial for former President Roh Moo-hyun ended about an hour ago.
As you mentioned, it was held at Roh's hometown of Bongha Village.
Organized by the Roh Moo-hyun Foundation, it was held under the theme 'new Roh Moo-hyun'.

Thousands from all across the nation gathered to remember and honor the late president.
And among the attendees was former U.S. President George W. Bush.
It was the first time a former U.S. president attended a memorial service for a former South Korean president.
Bush's two terms in the Oval Office overlapped with Roh’s presidency from 2003 to 2008.
Demonstrating their close friendship, the former U.S. president delivered a eulogy.
He described Roh as a kind and strong leader.
He also said that South Korea-U.S. relations took great steps forward under their leadership, because they shared the importance of maintaining strong bilateral ties.
Bush even delivered a portrait of Roh to the late former leader's family -- a portrait the former U.S. president had painted himself.
Take a listen.

"I painted a kind and sympathetic man. I painted a man who respected the fundamental rights of all citizens. And today, I pray that his vision for human rights in Korea will extend North across the border. I painted a strong leader who was not afraid to speak his mind, even to the president of the United States."

The two former leaders evidently had a special relationship.
And Roh also appears to still be well-loved by the people, judging by the size of the crowd.

You're right.
You can really tell how much he was admired by the turnout today
More than 17-thousand people attended, according to the organizers -- a record number.

It's been exactly a decade, since Roh's sudden death in 2009, which caused grief nationwide.
Roh is remembered mostly for his efforts to improve people's lives.
He also endlessly tried to challenge the regionalism and authoritarianism rooted in the country.
And such drives are still ongoing, as many parts of his vision are mirrored by now-President Moon Jae-in, who was Roh's presidential chief of staff and longtime friend.

"I think he's an admirable person. He could have taken an easier road, but he chose to take a difficult road in life."

"I always thought I needed to come at least once, so I made up my mind and came here from Seoul with the help of my friends."

People have been paying tribute nationwide, all throughout the week.
And especially today, the ceremony in Bongha Village, was an opportunity for them to band together to build the society envisioned by Roh, a society for the people.

That's all I have for now.
Back to you, Devin.
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