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Mourners gather for funeral of Cho family, victim of Texas mass shooting

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CARROLLTON, Texas – A funeral service was held on the evening of May 10 at Newsong Church in Carrollton to honor the Cho family, who lost three of their members in a mass shooting that occurred on May 6 in Allen, near Dallas, Texas.

The victims of the tragedy were identified as husband Kyu Song Cho (37), wife Cindy Cho (35), and their son James (3), while their six-year-old son William was the only survivor.
The Cho family used to attend the Newsong Church.

The crowd of mourners was so large that a dozen officers from the Carrollton Police Department were dispatched to control traffic near the church.

The church’s main chapel was filled with mourners as the funeral service began at 6 p.m. The church opened its gymnasium to accommodate additional mourners.

The only survivor in the Cho family, 6-year-old William, attended the service. William’s grandfather Chang-ho Kang made a funeral speech.

“In order not to destabilize William, mourners were not allowed to offer words of consolation directly to him,” said a mourner who attended the funeral service, adding, “Fortunately, he seems to be in good health.”

Stephanie Drenka, co-founder of the Dallas Asian American Historical Society (DAAHS), said, “We will organize a candlelight vigil for the victims of the mass shooting at the square in front of Union Coffee in Dallas at 7 p.m. on May 15.”

Drenka is an ethnic-Korean adoptee. Hundreds of Dallas-area Asian youth, including second-generation Korean Americans, are expected to gather to raise their voices.
“This is a wake-up call for Asians in Texas,” Drenka said, “because the history of hate against Asians is deeply rooted here.”

She cited newspaper articles as evidence. For example, the Dallas Herald (July 30, 1870) reported that Chinese should be banned from entering north Texas because they would displace white labor.

The Dallas Morning News (Oct. 31, 1889) even ran an editorial claiming that Chinese owners of laundries were spreading disease in Dallas.

“History tells us that the Allen shooting did not happen out of the blue,” Drenka says, noting that Allen is a city where one in five residents is Asian and the Asian population has been growing rapidly in recent years.

Writing is another voice. She has written columns on Asian civil rights for mainstream media, including the Washington Post, Texas Tribune, and Huffington Post. She also founded Visible Magazine, an online magazine for minorities.

According to the guestbook, more than 100 people have visited the mourning altar set up in the Korean Society of Dallas for the Cho family and offered wreaths, including Mayor Steve Babick of Carrollton, a city with a large Korean-American population.

“Coming here and laying a wreath is the beginning of recovery,” said Sung-joo Yoo, president of the Korean Society of Dallas. “I want to leave a good memory for the surviving child so that when he grows up and overcomes grief, he will say, ‘All Koreans were my family.'”

“We’re not at the stage of disclosing specifics yet, but the Korean Society of Dallas is preparing to help the surviving child along with other Korean American organizations,” said Shin-min Park, director of the society, adding, “Mainstream civic organizations will also participate and work together.”

The Dallas Korean American Chamber of Commerce is also taking an active role.
“We have meetings with the Texas State Assembly, the city government of Dallas, and the police department to deliver our opinions,” said Sang-yoon Lee, president of the chamber.

“We believe that young second-generation Korean Americans should enter the world of politics so that our voices can be heard more effectively, and we will also work to identify political aspirants and connect them with mainstream society.”

BY YEOL JANG   [support@koreadaily.com]