Tuesday, May 12, 2009

China Marks Quake Anniversary

(Photo courtesy: Jason Lee/Reuters via The New York Times)
A mother sitting among the rubble in Beichuan county on Tuesday mourned the death of her daughter, Xiang Yazi, at left in photo, in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

May 12 is the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China. It still haunts me to think how a few minutes took the lives of -- what some believe -- nearly 90,000 people. Among the largest group of victims, children, who were in school. News of this magnitude always affect me, but having taught in Sichuan, China hit a little bit closer to home. The town in which I lived and taught was very close to the quake's epicenter, and many of my students lived in the villages that saw so much destruction. Last year, I spent the whole day trying to reach my relatives, my former students. Thankfully my family was okay, I heard back from some students, but not all.

The Chinese government has not been very supportive to the parents of quake victims. Officials have recommended parents not visit the quake sites or hold memorials. And as a way to "move on" from the tragedy, some parents were granted permission to have a second child.

The Washington Post has a really good piece and video about how some families are coping with the quake aftermath.

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