On Children’s Day, China Remembers Quake’s Young Victims
“Parents mourn their offspring, and youngsters nationwide help raise funds to aid survivors.” Ching-Ching Ni reports in the LA Times:
Marking a sad International Children’s Day, angry parents mourned their young offspring today and children across China opened their piggy banks and held yard sales to help survivors of last month’s devastating earthquake.
Some of the most enduring images from the magnitude 7.9 temblor that killed about 69,000 were the faces of China’s young. An estimated 7,000 children lost their lives and more than 16,000 were injured, most buried alive when their schools collapsed.
Parents in Juyuan Middle School, where 900 children died, mourned the youngsters today near the ruins and demanded that a “blood debt” be paid by people responsible for overseeing shoddy construction.
The central government has vowed to investigate building quality and set new standards for future schoolhouses. With entire cities and villages wiped out and millions of survivors left homeless, many youngsters have had to resume classes in makeshift tents and temporary shelters. Some have been flown to neighboring provinces, where they will live apart from their parents so they could attend school.
A netizen with the online name yusheng 0717 (雨声0717) wrote the following post on Tianya.com, translated by CDT:
Late last night, I happened to watch Hunan Satellite TV, a specially made program for Children’s Day… Several children [earthquake survivors) sat around with adults [TV hosts and guests].
When asked what they want to do when they grow up, an older boy said, “I want to be a doctor.”
“Why?” the hostess asked.
“Because I want to save many people.”
Another younger girl who had a swollen face said, “I want to go to university. I want to make lots of money for my parents.”
Then a little boy who had a cast on his foot thought for a while, then muttered “I want to be a architect. I want to build solid buildings.”
According to the hostess, the little boy was one of four survivors from his class, which had more then 30 children.