A one-year memorial service was held for Hyo Jin Moon on Sunday, March 22, at the Westchester Marriott Hotel in Tarrytown, New York. At the first anniversary of his passing from a heart attack at the young age of forty-five on March 17, 2008, over 1,200 members from the Tri-State area as well as from areas stretching from Boston to Washington, D.C., gathered to pay their respects and remember a great man who stood loyal to his father, while expressing his passions helping others to truly feel life, electrifying motivation in many for years to come.
Hyo Jin Moon was born on December 3, 1962, in Korea as the first son of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Mrs. Hak Ja Han Moon. He is survived by his loving wife, Yeon Ah Choi. Together they have five children. Hyo Jin Moon leaves a strong legacy of having dedicated his public life to inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to live passionately for the sake of others. His vision gave rise to media projects to create a positive influence on today’s culture. He was an inspired musician, performer, and producer. As vocalist and lead guitarist, he produced over a dozen CDs, composed more than 10,000 songs, and performed in live concert tours in Asia each spring up until his passing in 2008.
After an opening prayer and a musical offering by the WestRock Choir, directed by Dr. Brian Saunders, David Hunter, the Master of Ceremonies, read a short biography. A remarkable video produced by his sister Rev. In Jin Moon presented footage of Hyo Jin Moon on his concert tours, singing his original compositions that expressed his passion and conviction to serve his parents, interspersed with photos of his early life in Korea and growing up in New York. It caused many in the audience to be moved to tears, including those who did not know him personally.
The talented Second Generation artist Chris Alan Derflinger, accompanying himself on the piano, next sang “One by One,” written by Rev. In Jin Moon shortly after her brother’s passing a year ago.
Rev. In Jin Moon spoke in her keynote address about her brother’s desire to inspire others to truly feel life through his music. “When I listen to my brother’s songs, there is so much passion, there is so much heart. He was giving me something real, allowing me to feel his love and his passion through his music. For me, that is probably the greatest gift.”
She went on to explain that what she learned from her brother is that if we forget to feel, then our lives become meaningless. “For me, my older brother Hyo Jin’s passionate desire to want to literally bowl you over with his music is that he was provoking all of us to feel the gratitude and passion of being alive—to feel the pain of loneliness and of suffering, but still having the strength to overcome it.”
Because Reverend Moon truly wanted her elder brother to be remembered properly for who he was, she shared the reality that she was able to experience through him. “It is my duty to share with all of you the preciousness of this man’s life. He was an ideal son, in that he dealt with a lot of the issues that we all deal with in our lives—the happiness, the elation, as well as sorrows and heartbreak. These are the themes that make us who we are, no matter who we are. We are bound together in this tapestry of what I call ‘human experience.’ My brother in his daily life strove to deal with all these things. He wanted to commit his life for God."
She went on to say, “In many instances, he didn’t care what anybody thought as long as he felt he was making a difference. And, boy, did he make a difference.”
Because it was appropriate that Hyo Jin Moon’s life be celebrated through music, two musical offerings followed. After sharing that his life was deeply touched by Hyo Jin Moon, Ben Lorentzen performed “And You,” a song that he and his brother composed for Hyo Jin Moon when he asked them to compose forty songs in forty days at the beginning of their working relationship in 1993–1995.
Rev. In Jin Moon concluded in her speech, “Knowing my brother, I know that he would not want us to be crying over his picture or be miserable because we miss him so much. I know that my brother wants us to live, be happy, be successful, prosperous, and find strength in each other and in our communities.”
More pictures from Hyo Jin Moon's one-year Memorial Service held on March 22, 2009