Today was a day I thought about the Great East Japan Earthquake of 3.11 a lot.
First, in Kesennuma, we went to the memorial monument along the coast to pray for the people who have lost their lives, and to Iwaisaki Cape to make salt from the ocean of Kesennuma. We also saw the statue of the sumo wrestler who is from Kesennuma and a dragon pine (a branch broke due to the tsunami and it looks like a dragon). These endured the tsunami.
I also thought about the many people who experienced the earthquake. This place in which I am standing now may have been a home or a person at that time. I could not say anything.
After moving to Minamisanriku and having lunch, we went to hear the stories about the town from Mayor Sato of Minamisanriku. He has been mayor for 17 years, and he experienced the earthquake as mayor as well. We heard about the experiences of the disaster and how a change in the way of thinking before and after the earthquake occurred.
The mayor’s words were heavy as a person who survived from the disaster. In addition, I sympathized very much regarding the mayor’s view on the meaning of volunteers, that it was not the work that was actually important at the time, but the hope they gave the local people. Furthermore, to tell the story is very important to save lives of next generations.
I was ten years old at the time of the earthquake, but now I can think of it finally. I will continue to think about it and tell the story to future generations.
Miyagiken Sendai Nika High School