Two years after the famous cave rescue in Mae Sai district in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province, people living near the Tham Luang Nang Non Cave National Park got together to give alms to 108 monks as well as make ritualistic offerings at the Nang Non Shrine on Monday.
The merit-making ceremony was held in memory of Thai Navy SEAL Sergeant Saman ‘Sam’ Kunan, who lost his life on July 6, 2018, as he was trying to rescue 13 members of the Mu Pa (Wild Boars) youth football team and their coach Ekkapol Chantawong, who were stranded inside a cave in the Tham Luang cave complex.
Waleeporn Kunan, wife of posthumously honoured Lieutenant-Commander Saman, the members of the Wild Boars team and their coach took turns expressing their gratitude to the rescuers, who also attended the ceremony.
“I feel so proud that people still remember my husband,” Bangkok Post quoted Waleeporn as saying. “I am so happy to see all 12 boys grow up but not grow apart. They are still bonding together.”
Bangkok Post reported one of the boys Adul Sarm-orn as saying: “Every time I come to this cave, I always feel warm . . . The cave reminds me of the kindness of Thais and foreigners who came to help us.”
The cave was closed to all visitors from February 19 to allow Navy SEALs to enter and recover equipment left inside.
A few days prior, national park chief Kavee Prasomphol said the closure would also allow naval officers to document the scene inside the cave, noting that the areas surrounding the cave remain open to the public.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK