I was not in New York on 9/11, and neither was I in Japan on 3/11. My memories of both events will forever center not on having experienced it in any way, but on having experienced hearing about it. Of course, in the intervening time a lot changed in terms of the expansion of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and smartphones, and so, for those of us not experiencing it directly (and even for many who did), it all played out quite differently.
My heart goes out to all of those who lost so much on 3/11, and to all who are still dealing with the aftermath. The new and changed setsuden lifestyle and aftershocks throughout much of Japan; the rebuilding for those in Tôhoku, and the difficulties of setting up new lives for those who had to leave everything behind in/around Fukushima, and who must now, one supposes, start new lives.
Many many people, of course, are posting all kinds of remembrances today.
Here is one I liked, one I found particularly well-done, personal, and touching – a video from a former JET who returned to Tôhoku quite recently, who focuses not on the destruction, but on the survival and the rebuilding.
It makes me want to go back to Japan, and to visit Tôhoku. And it makes me wish that I’d bought at least one of the “Ganbare Nippon!” charity T-shirts that so many people were selling here in Honolulu in the days and weeks after the disaster. I would love to wear such a T-shirt the next time I visit Japan, and to show, in whatever tiny ways I can, my support.