Mayor Park Won Soon shows his appreciation at the late 2012 Retirement Ceremony
I had the honor of being part of the Late 2012 Seoul Retirement Ceremony on Thursday, December 27. One hundred and forty-two to-be-retired civil servants were there, some of whom received citations, but needless to say they were greatly appreciated for their years of hard work and dedication. We spent two hours taking pictures with each retiring civil servant and his or her family. They were all smiles, but I imagine they had mixed feelings leaving their sadness behind.
How could they walk away without feeling a sense of transience, when they are leaving the City Hall, where they spent so many days through thick and thin?
It is safe to say Seoul stands where it is today thanks to their dedication, passion, and hard work.
Seoul would never have earned its international status without their tremendous effort and dedication. As if to prove this, their hairs have gone white, and their furrows have deepened. I asked them what we can do to show our appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice. For instance, Seoul City Hall could commission a plaque or a statue could be made in their honor when they pass away.
Recently, I came across this story when I was reading Stories of the Romans. An emperor wanted to erect a great statue of himself, so he took it to the Roman Senate.
“What good is a statue if you do not have the respect of the Roman people? The respect and love of the citizens, when earned with wise government, is in itself an invaluable memorial.”
A statue or plaque would be no more than a small and perishable reminder.
But our respect for the hard work you have dedicated to develop Seoul City will last in our hearts for generations.
Thank you and goodbye.