Two Heroine’s Honored in US for Heroic Efforts During Sewol Ferry Tragedy

D-Bo , Jan. 23, 2015, 10:36 a.m.

Two heroines of last year's ferry disaster will receive commemorative medals from a U.S. non-profit organization in recognition of their sacrifice to save others.  The Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation said it decided to award this year's gold medals to Choi Hye-jeong, a teacher at Danwon High School, and crewmember Park Ji-young. 

The foundation was established in 1951 by U.S. President Harry Truman in honor of four chaplains who gave their life jackets to other passengers when the U.S.A.T. Dorchester was torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II. 

Previous winners of the gold medals, the highest honor of the foundation's annual Prize for Humanity, include former U.S. presidents such as Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.  This is the first time a Korean has received the award. 

Park gave her life jacket to a highschooler and helped passengers escape. According to the testimonies of survivors, when asked what she intended to do after giving up her life jacket, Park told the student, "I'll get out after I save all of you."  Choi sacrificed her life to save her students. Some 338 students from Danwon High School were aboard the ferry to go to Jeju Island for a school trip, 250 of them lost their lives.   The award ceremony will take place at the foundation's headquarters in Philadelphia on March 8.

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