|USS Rondald Reagan in a 2008 photo|
As the world watches the tense situation concerning the nuclear plant in Fukushima, the task of getting things into hard hit areas for survivors continues. Last night reports out of Japan were saying that the 50 brave souls - dubbed the "faceless 50" - who were working to contain the threat, were pulled out due to high radiation levels. This morning, I heard a report those levels had gone down enough for them to go back. Concerns have caused somewhat of an exodus even from Tokyo.
People stuck in the red zone, who may be trapped yet, face not only the bitter cold and a snow storm, but the threat of radiation exposure. Those who could not evacuate were told to stay indoors. Yet, if there is no running water, no food, no heat - how can they not go outdoors? Personal stories of survival and death are emerging. The task of identifying the dead, very difficult.
I am in awe watching video footage of the calm demeanor among the Japanese people in the face of grief over lost loved ones, the loss of homes, and the horror of what they likely witnessed. Photos of stores, with the front enclosure missing, are untouched by looters who so often scramble to empty them at such times, if not for survival, then for opportunity to make a buck. No such thing in Japan. We are witnessing a stoic people, standing in long lines for mere basics, patiently. In contrast to the chaos we so often see during such devastation, politeness and integrity for most seems unconditional even during circumstances where panic and survival instinct would otherwise cause the to be cast aside. They offer all of us much to reflect on and how we would act.
Here is video footage by the US Navy taken during one delivery mission.
Our Lady of Akita, intercede for these people.
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