I usually dismiss disaster relief campaigns, especially those on the internet, as phony fads that let people feel good about themselves rather than actually help the victims. (Honestly, how many people know how Haiti is doing now?)
So I have been rather blasé about what has been going on in Japan.
Until I read this NY Times article about graduation ceremonies being held in the affected area, despite brutal losses. The irony was too much to swallow without feeling something stuck in your throat.
KESENNUMA, Japan — Schools here begin class in April and hold graduation ceremonies in March; like spring, they represent renewal and rebirth.
On Tuesday morning, in a school meeting hall in this tsunami-ravaged seaport, it became something else: an act of defiance.
The students here made determined efforts to remain upbeat. But many proved unable to hold back tears, whether singing school songs or joining in the brief after-graduation party.
“They tried not to show their sadness, but we couldn’t see them smiling,” said Yasuyuki Toba, one of the ninth-grade teachers who led the ceremony. So to end the party, he led a chant for the students clustered around him.
“Let’s meet again!” he shouted.
The students shouted in unison: “Let’s meet again!”
Diplomas and Uncertainty for Japanese Pupils [New York Times]
Yes, let’s meet again– for memories and losses are always here with us, while the banners and Facebook statuses will soon be gone.