By Huizhong Wu
A resident stands in rubble in the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which claimed an estimated 69,000 lives.
Five years ago on May 12, 2008, Sichuan experienced one of the most devastating earthquakes in modern times.
Today, the affected area in the region serves as a memorial and open-air museum to those who died – everyone that is, except the thousands of children.
In a long feature published in the Telegraph, Tom Phillips explores the problems with the state-erected memorial in Beichuan, one of the areas worst hit by the earthquake. Phillips found that many residents of Beichuan and other concerned Chinese citizens are frustrated with the lack of mention of the children anywhere on the official state memorial signage.
The memorials do go into “exhaustive” detail about government and rescue workers who perished, the article states.
Over 5,000 children were killed in the 7.9 magnitude earthquake in 2008. Most were killed by badly constructed school buildings that collapsed almost immediately.
Some have appealed to the government to publish the children’s names including the outspoken artist Ai Weiwei.
Zhou Xingrong, whose 15-year-old son was killed along with about 300 other students when the Juyuan Middle School in the nearby city of Dujiangyan fell told the Telegraph:
I feel it is so unfair. It shows a total lack of respect for the children… We asked them to build a memorial or a monument to the kids on the [school’s] old site, but instead they have turned the place into commercial buildings.