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Memorial service for Roh Moo-hyun held at Bongha Village Thurs. Updated: 2019-05-23 19:02:54 KST

Thousands gathered at Bongha Village in Gyeongsangnam-do Province to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the passing of former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.
Thursday's memorial was attended by political leaders, including Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang.

U.S. President George W. Bush also delivered a eulogy at the ceremony, where he described his then-counterpart as a kind but strong leader.
It was the first time a former U.S. leader attended a memorial for a former South Korean president.
Bush also gave a portrait of Roh to the late former leader's family -- a portrait the former U.S. president had painted himself.

"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."

A decade has passed, since Roh's sudden death in 2009.
He took his own life by jumping off a cliff -- which came amid investigations over bribery allegations.
Roh is remembered for his efforts to improve people's lives and to build peace on the Korean Peninsula.
He also endlessly tried to challenge the regionalism and authoritarianism rooted in the country.
Such drives are still ongoing, as his vision is mirrored by now-President Moon Jae-in, who was Roh's presidential chief of staff and longtime friend.

"I came here because I miss him. He was selfless and righteous. I think I liked him because he felt close like a neighborhood brother."

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

"More than 17-thousand people gathered from all across the nation.
The support from today’s massive crowds shows just how much Roh Moo-hyun is still admired by the Korean people. Park Hee-jun, Arirang News, Gimhae."
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