It seems impossible to sum up the last year and particularly this day last year. March 11th has had such an impact on so many individual lives, relationships, families, and communities in ways that were both tragic and beautiful. 3.11 tore people away from this earth so much sooner than anyone wanted, but it also solidified and created and solidified bonds between people in a way that was extraordinary.
Looking back one year later, I do believe that the JET community, which includes current JETs and JET alums, came together and functioned in a responsive, heartfelt and focused way that I was so proud to be a part of. We are a community of doers and we are a community that has a sincere love for our second home. We proved to ourselves and others that we’re capable of doing more than we imagined when the need presented itself. We applied our skills, networks, and energy untiringly to help our friends in Japan. And we realized that our friends in Japan did not only consist of only our JET furusato communities, but indeed, encompassed the entire country.
Japan still has a long way to go and JETAA USA will continue to support in any way we are able. We will continue to give our time, energy and love to Japan and we will continue to do this in the memory of our fellow JETs, Monty Dickson and Taylor Anderson. Our hearts go out to Taylor and Monty’s families on this day. Our hearts go out to all the families in Japan that were affected by the events of 3.11. Kizuna, indeed.