Nearly a year after the May 12th earthquake, survivors tramp through the rubble of Beichuan county in Sichuan to mark the Qingming Festival, when Chinese honor their ancestors.
Beichuan Middle School was among the hardest-hit schools in the May 12 earthquake. More than 1,300 of the school's 2,900 students and teachers were killed or left missing. The survivors came in three or fours, brought candles, incense, flowers, even letters to mourn their friends.
Students mourn fellow students and teachers of Beichuan Middle School who perished during the Sichuan earthquake last year, in Beichuan, Sichuan province April 4, 2009. [chinadaily.com.cn]
Message cards were left on the iron fence enclosing the ruined school campus. It actually had become a memorial wall for people to express condolences to victims.
Shortly after the disaster, surviving students from the school were sent to attend classes in a temporary school located in the courtyard of Changhong training center in Sichuan's Mianyang City.
Soon they will have their own campus. Mostly funded by donations from Chinese all over the world, a new school will be built in Beichuan's new county seat. It will cover about 13 hectares and is expected to enroll more than 5,000 students.
The reconstruction work will start May 12, the first anniversary of the earthquake.