Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan's funeral is now past, but one of the interesting things about his passing is this:
The posthumous cornea donation by Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan has inspired many Koreans to sign up as organ donors.As a result of his example, many more people are registering to donate organs, and, perhaps being influenced by this, the government wants to make it easier to declare someone brain dead in order to get more organs to people on waiting list. As the latter article notes, "A shortage of organ donations has been a chronic problem in Korea," something that I looked at briefly here, so one hopes the effect of the late cardinal's example is a lasting one.
Dr. Joo Choun-ki of Kangnam St. Mary’s Hospital, who performed the procedure and examined the corneas, said Kim had cataract surgery in 2001 but his corneas were good for transplantation. Two people at the top of the waitlist received a cornea each.
Regarding his funeral, a Korea Times article asked, "Have We Mourned Like This Before?" The answer is, of course, yes. The most recent example would be this, from a year ago:
Of course, the masses of people who came here were paying their respects to a building, not a personthis article (and others), which suggested Park and Kim Ku (whose 1949 funeral can be seen here) as precedents. It also suggested a third person, and the first that came to mind for me.
Park Geun-hye's graduation from (the Catholic) Sungshin High School.
In the center of the above photo, standing next to her husband Park Chung-hee, is Yuk Yeong-su, the first lady. Here are some photos of her from a book I found at Yonsei University Library a few years ago:
She has been described as being "widely revered," and the photos above may suggest why. On August 15, 1974, she accompanied her husband who was giving an Independence Day speech.
As you saw, Park's speech was interrupted by Mun Se-gwang, a Korean resident of Japan, who fired shots at him. Park ducked behind the bulletproof podium and as shots were exchanged between Mun and security, his wife was hit.
(Photo from here)
She died later that evening. Also killed by a ricocheting bullet was high school student Jang Bong-hwa. As can be seen in the video, her funeral was attended by thousands of people.
The western media often referred to Park as being 'tough', and in the video it's not hard to see why, as he stepped up and continued his speech.
What I like about the above photo is that it reminds you that, yes, he was not some mythical figure (despite the arguments of those who like to posthumously canonize or crucify him), but very human.
Other photos of Yuk Yeong-su, in her childhood or with her husband can be found here and here.
One wonders, however, what Park would have thought of people referring to him as "몸짱!"