Hong Kong, China - Under the solemn overtone of the music being performed, the overhead display revealed scenes after scenes of disturbing images: collapsed houses that were unrecognizable, messages left for the deceased, red incense altars placed in front of the collapsed schools, flowers given to commemorate the Sichuan Beichuan Middle School students, sobbing relatives of the deceased……no one can forget these images after seeing them. Then the music suddenly changed to a loud overtone, reminding everyone to not forget this painful event in the history of mankind.
The music concert titled “The Reason to be Strong – 5.12 Earthquake One Year Anniversary Commemoration Music Concert”, hosted by Hong Kong Christian Council and co-hosted by Hong Kong Hospital Chaplaincy Ministry and Parenting Forum, was held at International Christian Quality Music Secondary and Primary School on April 18. The purpose was to give a hope-filled response to the earthquake within the one year anniversary after the Sichuan Earthquake that shook the world.
The music concert was separated into three parts: “Suffering”, “Rebuilt”, and “Hope.”
As the Pro Arte Orchestra Hong Kong performed the section of “Suffering”, photos of the aftermath of the Beichuan earthquake were shown, leading the audiences to the site of the disaster zone.
In the section of “Rebuilt”, Church of Christ China Kei Wan Primary School choir sang “Jehovah is My Shepherd” and stories of seven Beichuan middle school students were broadcasted, which included the students recalling the memories during the earthquake and when they returned to school, and footages of Hong Kong Christian Council volunteer visiting the students.
In the section of “Hope”, seven Beichuan middle school teachers and students went on stage to share how a year after the disaster they have a different perspective towards life, are more stubborn towards life, and have became stronger
Rev. Law Kit Choi, general secretary of Association of Hong Kong Hospital Chaplaincy Ministry, shared his thoughts on the 5.12 Sichuan Earthquake. When he first saw the list of student victims and realized that there is a life behind every one of those names, his emotion changed from being calm to sorrow. As a result, he thought about what he can do and that was why he organized this music concert. In addition to mourning for the victims, he hopes that the concert can encourage everyone.
He then encouraged the audiences to support the Hong Kong Christian Council’s “One Household One” Beichuan Middle School Student Support Program, turning the sorrow into the source of strength for taking actions. Lastly, the concert concluded after the Lettermen Chorus performed.
Numerous people in the crowd expressed that this music concert has made them to reflect more deeply about life. Ms. Wong, one of the participants, said that after seeing the student victims, she said she understood more about the disaster than just seeing it on television.
The seven Beichuan middle school students who came to Hong Kong will continue on to share their experiences at some schools.
Reporter Sharon Chan contributed to this report.