‘We still have our beloved King by our side’

The Nation - - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL -

TO­DAY MARKSthe first anniversary of HM King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej’s pass­ing and a re­minder for Thais of the spe­cial place he has in their hearts.

Many may view him still as the fa­ther of the coun­try and the na­tion’s guid­ing light.

Sit­ting on the throne since 1946, the late King reigned over Thai­land with re­mark­able de­vo­tion to his peo­ple un­til his pass­ing on Oc­to­ber 13 last year.

For 12 months al­ready, peo­ple have mourned his de­par­ture.

More than 12 mil­lion mourn­ers have pros­trated them­selves be­fore his Royal Urn in­side the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall de­spite the heat, the rain and the long queues.

Oth­ers paid homage to the muchad­mired monarch at other des­ig­nated venues and events in his hon­our across the na­tion.

“I have at­tended more than 100 ex­hi­bi­tions about our beloved King dur­ing the past 12 months,” said Natthanan Us­sa­neemas, a com­pany em­ployee. “I have also joined many san­dal­wood-flower mak­ing ses­sions.”

The flow­ers will be used for the Royal Cre­ma­tion Cer­e­monies and re­lated rit­u­als, to be held be­tween Oc­to­ber 25 and 29.

As Natthanan re­counted the many ac­tiv­i­ties in which she had par­tic­i­pated, it be­came clear to her that the late King had truly lived the oath of his as­cen­sion to the throne: “We shall rule with right­eous­ness for the ben­e­fits and hap­pi­ness of Si­amese [Thai] peo­ple”.

“He’s our guid­ing light,” Natthanan said. “He has done a lot for Thai­land and Thai peo­ple. By em­brac­ing his teach­ings and fol­low­ing in his foot­steps, we still have our beloved King by our side. This way, he re­mains with us for­ever.”

She is among mil­lions of Thais who have found a way to cope with the much-revered King’s death.

Narongrit Maisak, who works for a com­pany in Non­thaburi, said the for­mer King’s pass­ing was a mas­sive loss to Thais given his benev­o­lence and con­tri­bu­tions to the coun­try.

“Even after one year, it’s not easy to ac­cept what hap­pened,” he said. “I prom­ise to my­self that in remembrance of the much-beloved king, his pic­ture will al­ways hang high at my

For­mer su­per­model Meti­nee King­pay­ome sheds tears for the late King.

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