Families of Korean ferry victims start marathon march; demand additional investigation

Families of Sewol Tragedy victims hold portraits of their children during the marathon march (Photo Credit: Asian Buzz)

The Sewol Tragedy shook the nation of South Korea when it took the lives of more or less 300 people; 250 of which are students from Danwon High School. The overloaded MV Sewol ferry sank between 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m last April 16, 2014 near the southern island of Jindo.

Now that the mishap is nearing its first year anniversary, the mourning parents of the victims gathered and began a marathon march on Saturday, April 4.

This movement was initiated by the group in hopes of pressing for an independent inquiry into this tragedy. More than 200 people participated in the cause, majority of which are parents of the victims who shaved their heads to show their grief and determination in seeking justice. Some also came wearing their mourning robes while holding pictures of their perished children.

The route has the distance of 35 kilometers, starting from a public park in Ansan, where a giant altar complete with the framed photos and offered flowers for the victims were displayed. Some participants wept as they started to walk. The group also chanted slogans and held banners; allegedly saying that the South Korean government “insulted” their families by “waving money under their noses” to make up for the lost lives. This insult was said to be done instead of launching an independent and thorough investigation on what really happened that fateful morning.

This is not the first time that the group clamored for justice. Over the past year, the family members continuously demanded a meeting with South Korea President, Park Geun-Hye. The participants wanted the president to stay true to her promise of searching for the bodies of those who are still missing.

Chun Myeong-Sun, a representative of the group, stated that almost a year has passed since the tragedy happened, yet the president is still unable to do what she has promised. She also added that  they will be the ones to go to Seoul to directly hear what President Park has to say.

A candle-lit vigil will be held after the victims’ families arrive at Seoul on Sunday.