Posted February. 21, 2008 03:02,
When the spilled oil headed for shore, Koreans were at a loss. As they saw the waves of black, they were filled with rage as the accident could have been preventable.
But the Korean people were of one resolve: the oil must be cleaned up.
There were elementary students who removed oil from stones on the sandy beach, housewives and white-collar workers who gathered adsorbing paper, and soldiers who drove heavy equipment.
As of Feb. 21, the number of volunteers is expected to exceed the one million mark. The shores of Taean Country and Mallipo are nearly what they used to be. Waves of people have created a miracle.
South Chungcheong Provincial Governor Lee Wan-koo said that when the oil spill occurred near the Japanese town of Mikuni in Fukui Prefecture in 1997, more than 300,000 people volunteered to help. He added, At the time, the Japanese media called it The Miracle of Mikuni. Today, we are now in the process of creating a world-scale miracle ourselves.
The provincial government will host an event commemorating the one million volunteers. Today, both locals and volunteers will gather at 10:30 a.m. at the Hongik Training Institute in Mallipo, Taean County.
The one millionth volunteer will be given a certification plaque and gifts. Also, a video entitled, Miracle in the West Sea, that shows volunteers working, will be televised.
Local residents are also expected to express their gratitude to the nation. The number of volunteers is 993,000 as of Feb. 20, which is 15 times the population of Taean (63,279 residents).