Area supporters march eight miles for Jacob
by Stuart Goldschen
Some 50 area residents, bundled in thick winter wraps against sub-zero temperatures and a bitter wind chill, walked down the street recently with a smile on their faces and hope in their hearts.
They carried Jacob’s Hope with them Feb. 24 on an eight-mile march from the Westgate shopping mall in St. Cloud to the Friends of Jacob volunteer office in St. Joseph.
The march for Jacob was organized by the Friends office, the Korean Tae Kwon Do Karate Institute in St. Cloud, and the Tae Kwon Do clubs at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict.
Jacob’s sister, Amy, 14, and Carmen, 8, and a group of their friends joined the march with a wagon-load of snacks and drinks.
The group marched down Division Street, drawing sympathetic gestures of support from the occupants of vehicles slowing to watch the event. Two lead marchers carried a 10-foot-wide Jacob’s Hope banner with Jacob’s photograph on it, and other participants wore white Jacob’s Hope ribbons and Jacob picture buttons.
The march was preceded by a karate demonstration by some 40 members of the Tae Kwon Do Karate Institute led by Kwang Sik Chung, the institute’s director.
Christopher Hage, a Technical High School senior and member of the institute, read a statement by master instructor Chung to a crowd of some 100 people gathered in the Westgate foyer. Chung’s message of hope was directed to Jacob and all missing children.
“If the people who have Jacob or any of the other children could hear this, we hope it touches their hearts and they let the children go safely,” Chung wrote. “Also let us keep in mind though it may not be our problem, it could have been our children. It’s important we put our efforts together and pray these children will have a quick, safe return and no other family will go through such a tragic moment.”
Chung’s message said the walk for Jacob would be “tiring and hard,” but he reminded listeners “our suffering could never measure up to what Jacob or his parents are going through.”
On that resonating note the beaming marchers stepped forward into the wind.