On March 11, 2011 there was a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Northeast Japan. Within 15 minutes, a tsunami slammed into the coastline and created unbelievable devastation, wiping out whole villages and moving the coastline 7 feet to the East.
Why am I writing about Japan in my American Genealogy blog? In the beginning of my book, the elders ask my grandfather Kyushiro Mine to "speak." As my great great grandfather Abner Copeland says, "Without you, none of us would be here! Cousette had to be born to your daughter Shuko so that she could create this book and keep us alive forever."
My book is, of course, a fantasy of bringing together my ancestors and talking to them about their life and times.
The earthquake is no fantasy. It is a harsh reality that is just beginning as the death toll rises and the speculation of the final death toll seems impossible as they find that whole villages have disappeared without any survivors.
My mother telephoned my Aunt in Tokyo and luckily they suffered no damage or injuries. Nor have any of the other friends I have heard from. My friend Hiro in Tokyo sent updates from Japanese news (in English) as well as links to Japanese newspapers (in English) and photos. There seemed to be wonderful stories of miracles - three elderly people trapped but alive in their car after 3 days, a 60 year old man found floating on the top of his house 10 miles out at sea, and a 4 month old baby found in the rubble and reunited with her young parents.
But now, there is fear and trepidation because of the fires, explosions, and possible meltdown of 4 nuclear power plants.
I have heard from family and friends across the nation - their churches are collecting money for the Red Cross and other rescue organizations - but most important, they are all praying for those in Japan. As we pray for them, we pray for all of us because we are all linked together - brothers and sisters in humanity.