[EDITORIALS]The beautiful railroad man“Is the kid alright?” were the first words out of Kim Haeng-kyun’s mouth when he recovered consciousness. Mr. Kim, the train operation manager at the Yeongdeungpo Station, suffered grave injuries to his feet when he threw himself in the path of an oncoming train to save a child. Even after being injured, Mr. Kim was concerned for the safety of the child, who was playing beyond the yellow line and fell onto the tracks when the train approached. Mr. Kim does not want to seek out the child he saved. As a parent, he says, he would not want the child to find out that someone was injured because of him.
Mr. Kim has touched us with deep emotion, for this act could only be a product of inimitable love for humankind and an authentic sense of responsibility. Mrs. Kim says that any other adult would have acted the way her husband did, if they were in that situation. His wife’s modesty makes us look back at how we have lived our own lives.
Because of this incident, Mr. Kim has lost some of his right toes, and had to amputate some 10 centimeters (4 inches) from his left leg. Even after a series of painful surgeries that could continue for a year, Mr. Kim will end up permanently handicapped. The daily happiness Mr. Kim had enjoyed in his small apartment in Bucheon with his elderly mother, his wife and his two children will never be the same again. In addition to the traumatic accident itself, the Kims will suffer unimaginable pain and sorrow in the days ahead.
Mr. Kim and his family are bravely coping with the accident, but we cannot let them deal with the tragedy alone. The first way to pay back Mr. Kim is to financially assist the family so that he can attain a fast recovery, and so that the family can avoid financial burdens. Helping hands have already gathered in cyberspace, opening up sites such as “Beautiful Railroad Man” and “Sponsors for Railroad Man Kim.” This is a good sign. However, this sympathetic spirit must not die away after a spark; there must be continued concern and continued caring for Mr. Kim and his family. That is the only way to honor the noble mind of the beautiful railroad man Kim, who has proven that our society still has hope.