Around 70 of the 74 students from Danwon High School, who survived the tragic ferry accident off the southwest coast on April 16 paid their last respects to their schoolmates at an official memorial altar for the victims in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province on Wednesday.
The teenagers arrived in two buses and wore yellow ribbons praying for the safe return of those still missing. They decided to visit the memorial altar as soon as they were released from hospital on Wednesday.
Holding chrysanthemums, the students looked at the portrait photos lined up on the altar. When one of the students started to cry, others followed. Students and parents hugged each other and wept, while some clung to their friends and parents unable to stand on their own.
Jang Dong-won, who represents the parents of the surviving students, said, "Since they were went into hospital, the children talked about going to the memorial altar to pay their respects to their friends and teachers. We decided to come here as soon as they were released from hospital."
The students will undergo counseling at a separate facility for the time being. No decision has been made when they will return to school.