Events commemorating the victims and calling for the disclosure of the truth were held nationwide ahead of the fourth anniversary of the Sewol disaster. On April 15 at Mokpo New Port, where the Sewol is located, a cultural festival remembering the four years after the Sewol accident was held. Over seventy of the bereaved families of the victims attended this day's event. Citizens also visited in memory of that day. Choi Sang-yeol (51), from Dongnae-gu, Busan, said, "Everything that the people want to know, such as why the ferry sank, has to be clearly disclosed."
A civic group of Gwangju citizens for the Sewol and the Gwangju Youth Candlelight Group prepared a memorial altar at the May 18 Democracy Square, which will be open until April 16. This day, the government prepared a memorial altar at the Hwarang Amusement Park in Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do, where a variety of events were held to share the memories of the Sewol accident and to seek hope from the tragedy. The “April Music Festival” was held at a small stage in the park, and there musicians performed a classical concert commemorating the victims of the Sewol.
In front of the memorial hall for the non-student victims of the Sewol inside the Incheon Family Park, a memorial ceremony was held to remember the non-student victims of the Sewol accident.
This event, organized by a group of bereaved families of the non-student victims of the Sewol accident, was held in the form of a cultural performance open to citizens. Over 350 citizens took part as nine teams including the Incheon City Chorale and the Incheon Music Association staged musical performances and delivered messages in memory of the victims. The organizer plans to hold a memorial service for the victims at this venue on April 16, the fourth anniversary of the accident.
At the Yeonsu Peace Library in Incheon, a documentary seeking to heal the wounds of the Sewol, “Friends: Concealed Sadness,” was screened. This film includes the voices of teenagers, peers of the Danwon High School student victims of the Sewol, and it plainly depicts the process of how these teenagers embraced each other and recovered from the tragedy. At the Incheon Harbor Yeonan Pier, civic groups and citizens took part in the “Incheon Sewol Pilgrimage Walk.”
On April 14, at the Fringe Tree Hill created next to the Donghak Revolution Memorial in Hwangto-hyeon, Jeongeup-si, Jeollabuk-do on the second anniversary of the Sewol accident in 2016, "Bloom, the Flowers of Life of the 304 Fringe Trees," an event to look after the trees was held. There are 304 fringe trees growing on this hill, the same number as the victims of the Sewol.
On this day, a weekend, the April 16 Family Council, the April 16 Promise National Solidarity, and a group of college students gathered to prepare for the fourth anniversary of the Sewol co-organized an event to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the tragedy inviting the public to join. At the event, they announced a statement claiming, "We have yet to recover five bodies. We should not forget them."
On April 16, the fourth anniversary of the accident, a government-organized memorial service for the victims of the Sewol accident will be held at the Hwarang Amusement Park in Ansan. At the Jindo Gymnasium and at Paengmok Port, there will be a ssitgimgut performance, a shamanistic ritual to purify the dead spirits for the afterworld, and memorial services organized by religious groups and civic groups will be held respectively.