May 18th is a day of remembrance for South Koreans.
For several days from that date in 1980, hundreds of civilians in the city were killed, while thousands were wounded in a crackdown against pro-democracy protesters by the authoritarian government.
Considered a pivotal moment in South Koreans' struggle for democracy nearly a quarter of a million people participated in the movement.
May 18th is now a national day of commemoration and victims of the violence that occurred on that day are honored as contributors to the country's democracy.
To salute May 18th a public music concert was held on Wednesday in Gwangju city.
Under the theme of "Singing for the pain of Gwangju" music based on the poetry of Yun Dong-ju's was composed and showcased.
One of the nation's most beloved poets, well known for his lyrical compositions and resistance against Japan's colonial occupation of Korea Yun is regarded as a bard of purity, youth, and patriotism.
Including "The Sky, the Wind, the Stars and the Poem,'' an all-time favorite of Koreans 19 poetries written by Yun have turned into music and among them, 12 pieces were played in the concert.
A beautiful melody played by the piano and flute was accompanied by soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and baritone singers.
Tenor Song Tae-wang says holding the concert at the Jeon-il building was very meaningful.
"This is like combining the spirit of resistance that the poet Yun had during the Japanese occupation of Korea and that of Gwangju's citizens during 1980."
The Jeon-il building is seen as an iconic symbol of the May 18th Pro-Democracy Movement which was on fire when residents took up arms against government forces.
The building has now been transformed into a civic cultural area.
Lee Se-jong who composed the music says visiting the birthplace of Jeong Byeong-wook who was Yun's classmate gave him the idea for composing the melodies.
"Yun's drafts of 19 poems are well-stored in Jeong Byeong-wook's birthplace in Jeollanam-do province. I was greatly impressed by seeing them in Jeong's birthplace and decided to compose music from the poems."
Also saying that people should remember the spirit of the poet Yun Lee added Gwangju's pain, which resembles Yun's, spirit should never be distorted.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.