Their Hearts Break When They Enter This Room, And So Will Yours When You See Why


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On April 16, 2014, the MV Sewol ferry capsized off the coast of South Korea.

Of the 476 people on board as the ship made its way to a luncheon in Jeju, South Korea, 304 lost their lives. Most tragically of all, many of them were students from Danwon High School in Ansan City.

The event left entire communities reeling, and in the following days, evidence mounted against the captain, crew, and Yoo Byung-eun, who owned the company charged with operating the vessel. He immediately fled, and despite an exhaustive search, he was never held accountable for the negligence that claimed hundreds of lives that day.

While passengers drowned along with the doomed ship, crew members left the scene.

While passengers drowned along with the doomed ship, crew members left the scene.

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Getty Images

To honor the 250 students lost that day, members of their community turned this classroom into a time capsule of sorts — a place where residents of Ansan City can grieve the loss of people who were taken far too young.

To honor the 250 students lost that day, members of their community turned this classroom into a time capsule of sorts -- a place where residents of Ansan City can grieve the loss of people who were taken far too young.

Getty Images

Getty Images

The space is filled to the brim with flowers, cards, and offerings. The chalkboard tells stories of grief, shock, and loss.

The space is filled to the brim with flowers, cards, and offerings. The chalkboard tells stories of grief, shock, and loss.

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Getty Images

School administrators have made the commemorative space a permanent fixture where students, parents, teachers, and friends can express their sorrow and pay their respects.

School administrators have made the commemorative space a permanent fixture where students, parents, teachers, and friends can express their sorrow and pay their respects.

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Getty Images

After two years, the room is still visited by many. It bears witness to a boundless form of grief that will never fully release its grip on those who have to wrap their heads around what happened.

After two years, the room is still visited by many. It bears witness to a boundless form of grief that will never fully release its grip on those who have to wrap their heads around what happened.

Getty Images

Glaring human error took hundreds of lives two years ago. It called 250 parents that day to tell them that their children were gone. Some of those who participated in the deadly chain reaction were brought to justice, but others ran away. Those who step into this classroom, however, don't have the luxury of escape to comfort them.

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