9/11 group donates monument to disaster-struck Fukushima city

By Adam Westlake Japan Daily Press

In a truly touching connection between two of the worst events the world has seen in the last decade, a New York City group who lost family members in the tragic September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks have given a monument to a Japanese city still in recovery from the earthquake and tsunami disasters of last March. The city of Koriyama, in Fukushima Prefecture, has received the special gift as a sign of friendship and recovery after each of the countries’ hardships and loss of lives.

The crane presented by the September 11th Families' Association to Koriyama

The crane statue presented by the September 11th Families’ Association to Koriyama

The U.S. group, part of the September 11th Families’ Association, made the monument in the shape of a crane, resembling the traditional origami figure, with wings measuring 80 centimeters long. It was made with metal and other pieces of debris from the two World Trade Center towers, each destroyed on the morning of September 11th, 2001 when they were struck by airplanes in a terrorist attack. The monument is set to be displayed at the public Kaisezan Park. The American association said it was actually responding to the kind gesture it had previously received; one of the paper cranes made by Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who famously died at the age of 12 after illness caused by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.

This is the first monument of significance from the international community to Japan’s disaster-hit northeast region. In August the Chilean government announced it would be making a replica of the Easter Island statues for a city in Miyagi Prefecture. Made by artists from the special stone on the island, it is the first time such a statue is to be given to a foreign country, but is to serve as a replacement of a different statue the city was given by Chile in 1991, also unfortunately lost in the tsunami.

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