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Sirens, prayers and sorrow as tsunami disaster remembered

March 11, 2012

[The Sydney Morning Herald – smh.com] By Malcolm Moore

Exactly a year after the tsunami struck, Japan comes to a standstill to remember 19,000 victims… and attempt to move on

At 2.46pm, the howl of the emergency siren cut through the silence in Ofunato, plunging the remembrance service back into the horror of last year’s tsunami….

But as the moment of the anniversary neared, the warming sun emerged from the clouds. After a series of speeches, mourners lay white lilies and chrysanthemums and silence fell, a palpable sense of sorrow rippling across the crowd. And then: a collective exhalation, relief and perhaps a sense of closure. “For a lot of people this year has passed very quickly, like a bad dream,” said Hashimoto Katsuo, a 74-year-old monk who has counselled the town and helped conduct an earlier memorial service.  Read story»
People take part in a moment of silence at 2.46pm during a ceremony in Ofunato.

People take part in a moment of silence at 2.46pm during a ceremony in Ofunato.Photo: Reuters

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