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Unification Church faithful gather in South Korea to mourn Rev. Moon
Mourners here seemed solemn but not downcast in the week of observances and preparation culminating in Saturday’s ceremony. While the church founded by Rev. Moon in 1954 now faces a time of unprecedented transition, many said they felt Saturday’s ceremony marked an opportunity to celebrate a long life of accomplishment.
Kenneth Read and Jeff Bateman, both from the United Kingdom, stood quietly, collecting their thoughts.
“So many people, and everyone coming from all over the world, from different faiths, different walks of life. It was really beautiful,” Mr. Read said.
“For me, it’s a gathering of those who loved him,” said Mr. Bateman, who met Rev. Moon 37 years ago and had difficulty quelling his tears. “This was like a royal occasion and a deserving one.”
“It’s very difficult to say goodbye to someone who has been part of my life for so long,” said Marilyn Angelucci, who came from the Philippines for the ceremony. “But I am determined to go forward and make his dream come true.”
“I feel an era has passed, and I missed an opportunity to do even more,” said Edmond Young, a Canadian who met the Unification Church in the late 1970s and later had chances to go fishing with Rev. Moon. “I think many people will have many tears when they hear and understand his life.”
“There’s really no reason to be downcast, when you take in the entire scope of his life,” said Elder Hudson W. Griffith, who worked with Rev. Moon and the Unification Church on ecumenical outreach through his HWG Ministry for Change in Henderson, Nev.
“While he is gone, it is the time to step back and mark the significant contributions he made, sometimes in the face of real adversity and scorn, in a very long life,” he said.
“Here was a man highly criticized many times, but who was still willing to devote his entire life and millions of dollars all for the sake of bringing the body of Christ together in the world.”
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About the Author
Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.
At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...
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Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
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