Friday, June 24, 2011

Monument to Independence Unveiled

Ceremony held to inaugurate ‘Independence Square’

On June 5, ‘Independence Square’ was inaugurated in an area of Ulaanbaatar City which has been inseparably connected with Mongolia’s national independence. The square is located in front of Chandmani Center, formerly Lenin’s Museum, earlier named Square of ‘Yalalt (victory)’ and ‘Erkh Choloo (liberty)’. In the center of the square a monument symbolizing Mongolia’s statehood, historical tradition and the struggles of generations was unveiled.

In history, wise people and scholars who were looking for land to establish Bogd Khuree, chose a terrace on the southern slope of Chingeltei Mountain (behind present Chandmani Center) and laid a foundation for the Ikh Khuree in 1778.

In 1911, when the revolution of National Liberty brought victory, Bogd Khaan decreed to impose taxes on merchants and traders organized many demonstrations in front of the present Chandmani Center. Also, on July 6, 1921, the Mongolian army and units of the Red Army headed by D. Sukhbaatar, gathered at the square, in front of the present Chandmani center and moved to the present day Sukhbaatar Square. Therefore the square was named ‘Square of Victory’. During the years of the democratic revolution in the 1990s, the square was also a podium of human rights, freedom, independence and democratic ideology and was renamed ‘Liberty Square’. In connection with its historical sources, the City Council of Ulaanbaatar made a decision to name it ‘Independence Square’. The decision is also connected with this year’s celebrations for 2220th anniversary of the Foundation of the Hun Empire, the 805th anniversary of Great Mongolian Empire, 100th anniversary of Mongolia’s Independence and 90th anniversary of People’s Revolution.

Present at the inauguration ceremony were Prime Minister S. Batbold, Ulaanbaatar Mayor G. Monkhbayar, MPP General Secretary U. Khurelsukh, Chingeltei District Governor D. Ganbold, staff members of Ulaanbaatar City Government and Chingeltei District Governor Office, cultural representatives and citizens.

In his speech, the Prime Minister said, “We, Mongolians have a rich history that founded our statehood in the center of Asia, defended the nation, experienced rises and falls at some times, but revived its independence, to reach modern prosperity. The 2220th anniversary of the Foundation of its First Statehood, the Hun Empire in Mongolian territory, the 805th anniversary of the Great Mongolian Empire founded by Chinggis Khaan, the 100th anniversary of the National Libertarian Revolution, and the 90th anniversary of the People’s Revolution are marvelous events that are eternal in national memory and will be remembered forever. These historical anniversaries witness the prideful deeds that make up the great anniversaries perfectly and create deeds to be remembered forever. Clear evidence of making many creative works preceding the anniversaries is restoring and redesigning Independence Square. This majestic monument symbolizing Mongolia’s independence, sovereignty, literacy, philosophy and will is a ‘valuable memorial’ for future generations and a ‘symbol’ for eternal existence. Our living peacefully and free in independence and sovereign Mongolia is the result of great deeds by our vigorous ancestors who overcame strict and hard challenges for the sake of the nation, land, freedom, and independence by ignoring their own life. This monument will remind later generations of the value of our ancestors’ struggle, effort and independence. The independence defended and inherited by our ancestors for us is the most valuable thing in the existence of our nation and to be esteemed by the people. The people of present and future generations must strengthen independence with sincere hearts and constructive realization of effort.”

The monument unveiled in the middle of the square measures 19 meters, 11cms, symbolizing the year 1911 when Mongolia was liberated from Mongolia was liberated from Manchurian oppression and gained independence. It is made of granite and marble with depictions of symbols of Mongolia’s statehood and independence. On the top, fire, sun and moon have been crystallized with copper and covered with golden plates. The pillar monument is covered with outlines of Nine White Banners of the State. The Soyombo is depicted in the higher part of pillar and teachings of Chinggis Khaan were carved in Mongolian old script in the lower part. S. Tsakhiur worked as general architect and sculptor D. Khiimor designed the sun, moon and fire on the top. Stone work was executed by Mr. Sukhbaatar and construction work was done by Mr. Ganzorig. During the inauguration ceremony, all art workers who created the monument were awarded.

- B. Ooluun

Source: The Mongol Messenger (No. 23, 24; Friday, June 10, 2011;)