Today we went to Hiyoriyama Park which overlooks Ishinomaki. We could see all around the city, to the ocean, and the river that empties into the ocean. We were there with a few hundred others who wanted to be there when it was 2:46 p.m. At that time sirens sounded for about 30 seconds. There were large tents set up with dignitaries in one and a Buddhist service in another. No one spoke out loud. Everyone whispered. This is a picture of part of the view that we had:
This picture above is near the mouth of the river and there is an island which was just about totally leveled. There used to be buildings on it. In the middle there is a statue of liberty. Interestingly enough, that statue is about all that made it through the tsunami. The water was up to the top of the statue. The land around the river was flooded a lot. The main downtown area is to the left of the picture and it was hit hard. Most of the buildings are gone.
Yesterday we had a service project south of us near Sendai. We went to a school which had been damaged, probably not fixable, to make some paper lanterns with candles in them to float down the river there today in memory of those who lost their lives. We made 3,000-4,000 lanterns. Altogether about 12,000 died in the tsunami. Here are is a picture of that service project:
And here are some pictures from the school. Notice how the fence which is made of iron or steel is all smashed down. Also there is a clock on the school which has stopped at 2:46 (when the tsunami hit).
This next picture is a boat which is in back of the school. There were three boats in back of the school. We could not even see the ocean and there were still boats in the back yard.
This picture below shows the area around the school. There is nothing but a lot of foundations from houses that used to be there.
The rest of these pictures are random photos of what we have seen: huge heap of garbage (several stories high), concrete building on its side, building with a car on top of it, rubble, and what is left of a cemetary: