Two Memorial Message Centers will be open Friday in Koreatown for Los Angeles residents to visit, pay their respects and send messages to the victims of the Sewol Ferry disaster in South Korea.
Hundreds of people, mostly high school students, are feared to have perished in the sinking.
The Centers will remain open through Saturday, May 3 at the following locations. They open at 9 a.m.:
- Korean American Federation of Los Angeles, 981 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles;
- BCM Tofu House, 3580 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.
Ann H. Park, president of the Korean Prosecutors Association, one of several organizations sponsoring the message centers, said: "Every day, more news unfolds about the children who survived, whose bodies have been recovered, and who are still missing. At the same time, investigations reveal problems with the ship, its owners, the crew, the freight and the response. Virtually every family in Korea is weeping at the loss of so many children who were on the threshold of their futures. That heartache is felt all around the world.
"We want to offer our prayers for the victims who were treated so cruelly and who died through no fault of their own. We want to express our compassion and empathy to their parents and families who suffer every day now, trying to cope with their inexplicable loss."
Visitors to the Memorial Message Centers will be able to pay their respects, sign guest books and write messages which will be personally taken to Korea by representatives of the sponsoring groups. Visitors will also receive black ribbons to wear symbolizing their shared grief and this "Heartache Felt Around the World."