Dressed in black, people line up to remember the victims of the Sewol-ho tragedy, bowing in front of portraits and weeping.
This new memorial hall opened on Tuesday at a park in Ansan city.
The venue is six times larger than a previous altar in the city.
It will stay open 24 hours a day for anyone to pay respects to the Sewol-ho ferry victims who so tragically lost their lives.
"When I saw the portraits of the so many victims, my eyes blurred and I couldn't fight back the tears. I imagined what it would be like if it was my child on the ferry. The country needs to take full responsibility for the tragedy."
Many high school students were seen paying tribute at the mass memorial.
Nearly 90 percent of the victims were students from Danwon High School in Ansan city.
"The victims were high school students like me, and it breaks my heart to think how frightened and cold they must have been inside the ferry at the time of the accident. They had a whole life ahead of them, and I can't help but think that it could have been me."
The mass memorial hall is run by the government and jointly sponsored by Ansan city and the Gyeonggi-do Province.
"Thousands of people are expected to come to the Ansan Hwarang memorial altar to pay respects to the victims. A total of 17 memorial altars have been set up across the nation.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."
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