Sunday, April 27, 2014

TOW#25: Korean Ferry Accident Vice Principal Suicide Note

"Surviving alone is too painful while 200 remain unaccounted for. Please hold me responsible for all of this. I pushed for the school excursion. Cremate my body and spread my ashes over the ship sinking site. I may become a teacher again in the afterlife for the students whose bodies have yet to be found."

Every year, a junior class from each school in South Korea goes to Jeju Island, the Hawaii of South Korea. After many years of rigorous and endless studying, students in the junior year go on this trip for one last fun before they take the dreadful college entrance exam. On April 16th, 2014, a Korean ferry sank in Jindo, South Korea with more than 400 passengers and crew members abroad. Of the few who survived, the Vice Principal, Kang Min-Gyu, hang himself on a tree. A suicide note was found in his wallet.

He felt guilty; he felt guilty for surviving while hundreds of other students did not. He proposed that he would teach in heaven to those who lost their lives. He could not bare to live and be happy while others lost their lives on his watch. Not only that, he took full responsibility because he suggested the trip. 

He felt that he has no right to live. He felt that it is his duty to go with his students. He appeals to pathos in his note because it shows his selflessness, courage, and morality. He is selfless in a sense that he gave up his own life when he could have survived. Courage plays a role because he was not afraid to give up his life. He was willing to take his own life to teach in the "afterlife". He even asked to be cremated so he could be spread into the ocean. He wanted to be with the students who remained in the ocean.

This tragedy affects South Korea immensely since South Korea is such a small country. The country will continue to mourn and grief for a very long time. This issue will remain in South Korean people's hearts for the rest of their lives. Guilt is the biggest issue. People like the vice-president was so overwhelmed with guilt that he couldn't bare to live. How will the rest of the families and country live on?  

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