SEOUL, March 28 (Korea Bizwire) – As the Sewol ferry emerges from the depths three years after a tragedy that shook the nation upside down, the public is once again mourning the victims of what is widely seen as an act of gross negligence.
Since the raising of the Sewol began last Wednesday, South Koreans have been turning out in droves to a group altar at Ansan in Gyeonggi Province to light incense in memory of the deceased.
According to Ansan city officials, more than one hundred visitors came to the altar to commemorate the victims on the day the government began raising the Sewol. On the weekend, nearly 2,500 people showed up to grieve the loss of 304 victims.
Guests at the memorial were seen placing flowers on the altar, looking at pictures of the victims, and leaving messages in support of the family members.
Some left a signature and their information to give support to a movement that calls for the government to find out the cause of the Sewol ferry disaster.
A saddened couple in their 50s, who were visiting the site from Cheongju, spoke in remorse, saying, “We had only been to a memorial altar in Cheongju but we came here early in the morning after we saw the news that the (sunken) ship was being lifted.
“As adults, we feel guilty that we failed to rescue them. We should’ve come here earlier.”
Elsewhere at the memorial where a photo exhibition in memory of the deceased students is being held, some people were seen crying.
Mother Kim, 44, who came with her elementary school student daughter, said, “I’ve been trying to avoid sadness since the devastating ferry disaster, but I don’t think it was the best idea.
“(The Sewol ferry) should’ve been lifted a long time ago,” Kim said in regret.
Some of the family members of the victims on the site expressed gratitude towards the public.
Lee Joo-soon, the grandmother of student Lee Soo-bin, who lost his life in the ferry disaster, said, “It’s been nearly three years, yet people still haven’t forgot about it and continue to visit.”
Since the memorial opened on April 29, 2014, nearly 650,000 people have come to commemorate those who lost their lives in the sunken ferry.