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[Editorial] A Day of Sadness

Posted April. 19, 2007 03:58,   


The deadliest shooting rampage in the U.S. history shocked the whole world. At the Virginia Tech convocation, President George W Bush said, “It is a day of sadness for our entire nation.” President Roh and other heads of state expressed their deep condolences as well.

This shocking incident that took so many lives on a beautiful spring day breaks people’s hearts. We can’t even imagine how hard it is for those who lost their parents, children, brothers and sisters. Words cannot appease the grief of those who lost their loved ones.

The mass shooting was shocking to Koreans at home and abroad, especially Korean residents in the U.S. because the suspect who brutally gunned down 32 professors and students was a Korean residing in the U.S. The mass murderer, Cho was one of the so-called “1.5 generation” and a resident alien with Korean nationality who emigrated to the U.S. when he was 8 years old. He was educated from elementary to the college in the U.S. He was in fact a Virginia Tech senior. The news upset not only Americans but also two million Korean residents and students living in the U.S.

All of the information on the massacre has yet to be revealed, but it seems that the mass murder has raised multiple complex issues in the U.S. People are focusing on the fact that a mentally unstable student was not treated well enough, the problem of possession of guns and the issue of gun control, and loopholes in campus security after the rampage. The killings have nothing to do with his nationality or ethnicity. Most U.S. citizens seem to share the view.

At a time when the Korea-U.S. relationship is being taken to the next level with the conclusion of Korea-U.S. FTA, the bloodiest shooting rampage should not affect bilateral relations. Genuine sympathy on the governmental level should be sent to assuage the pain of the U.S. citizens. The U.S. is our blood ally who sacrificed 36,000 soldiers to protect South Korea from the Communist North during the Korean War. We need to make sure the sudden tragedy does not harm Korea-U.S. relations.

Not long ago, the U.S. suffered the September 11 terrorist attacks and then Hurricane Katrina. Once again, the whole nation is in grief, flying its flag at half-staff in memory of the victims. We share that grief and pray for the victims.