Thursday, May 13, 2021

international

Messages of gratitude highlight disaster memorial in Japan


KESENNUMA, Miyagi — LED lights flashing messages, including “Thank you,” are the highlight of an ongoing display in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

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The glowing messages appear on a fence in front of a building that is part of the Ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake Kesennuma City Memorial Museum, a structure connected to a building that was actually destroyed in the disaster.

The building was formerly part of Kesennuma Koyo High School and now stands in ruins as a remembrance of the disaster.

About 1,500 plastic bottles containing LED bulbs are used to form the characters. The messages include a phrase reading “10 years since that day. Thank you.”

Local elementary school students and others used oil paint pens to inscribe messages on the surface of each of the plastic bottles. “Thank you very much for the massive amount of support,” one of them read.

During the disaster, a 12-meter tsunami inundated the school, the flooding reaching the fourth floor.

About 170 students fled to high ground nearby, and 45 teachers and other school officials took refuge on the rooftop when tsunami hit the building. They were all safe.

Said Katsumi Sato, 53, head of the memorial museum: “We must never forget the help that all of the people gave us.”

The LED lighting can be viewed for about four hours after sunset during the event, set to continue through April 4.

Published : March 06, 2021

By : The Japan News/ANN