Tsugaru City Newsletter CIR Column

“Love and Courage Across the Seas”
Tsugaru City Newsletter CIR Column (May 2011)

Michael Moses
Attached is a scan of the original article (in Japanese) Tsugaru City Newsletter CIR Column (Japanese). The translation below is provided by the author.

After the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami in eastern Japan, I reflected on the meaning of the slogan “Love and Courage Across the Seas.”  While I think many of you are familiar with it, the phrase refers to the strong bond between Bath and Tsugaru City, which was forged after the crash of the Cheseborough 122 years ago.  At that time, Tsugaru residents miraculously saved four crewmen from the crashed ship, which was built in Bath.  Now, in Japan’s time of need, the people of the world are working hard to pay back Tsugaru City’s heroic deeds and generosity.  This month, I would like to introduce the international disaster relief efforts of people who share a special connection with Tsugaru City, especially the efforts of Tsugaru City’s sister city in Bath, Maine, as well as the efforts of the workers at the Shariki Communications Site.

When the disaster occurred, I immediately received a message from the exchange coordinator in Bath.  The message was filled with the desire to help aid Japan in any way possible, and the residents of Bath immediately started fundraising for Tsugaru City.  Besides collecting individual donations, the people of Bath have been busy putting on big fundraising events.  On the 9th of April, Bath held a Cheseborough Swim, in which the participants collected pledges from sponsors and swam in the event.  That night, Bath also held an auction event, where a variety of items were auctioned off, including everything from massage certificates to pottery and jewelry.  The proceeds from the swim and auction will all be donated to disaster relief.

Not just the people of Bath, who live an ocean away from Tsugaru City, but the international residents of Tsugaru City itself are also fervently contributing to relief efforts.  Among various efforts, those of the workers at the Shariki Communications Site are especially noteworthy.  The people of the site have taken clothing, food and blankets to Iwate prefecture six times.  Using three vehicles, they sent supplies to Kamaishi, Miyako and Noda.  They are working hard to help Japan recover from the disaster.

We are being supported by people all around the world.  Starting with the efforts of Bath and the workers of the communications site, people everywhere are praying and fundraising for japan.  While it is an extremely tough time for Japan right now, within all the darkness is the shining light of our fellow brothers and sisters’ friendship and love.  Despite differences in language and country, the people of the world are working hard to help save Japan.  When I see these efforts, I definitely understand the meaning behind the phrase: “Love and Courage Across the Seas.”