Wayne State showed a peaceful spirit as members of its community gathered to give respect to the victims of the tsunami and earthquake in Japan.
Campus Ceremony for the People of Japan, held by the Dean of Students Office, took place from 12-1 p.m. in the Bernath Auditorium in the WSU Undergraduate Library.
The room was filled with students, faculty members and others who came to support the Japanese.
“This is the pride of Wayne State: to gather together in face of adversity,” said David Strauss, the Dean of Students. “It is our pleasure to have several Japanese speakers and all of you here in light of the recent tragedy. We welcome everyone here.”
The 8.9-magnitude tsunami-earthquake hit Japan’s northeastern coast March 11, killing thousands of people and prompting a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.
The death toll continues to rise.
“What you have seen of Japan, of the skyscrapers, is not what was hit,” Consul General of Japan in Detroit Kuninori Matsuda said. The main industries [in the area] are fishing agriculture and smaller businesses.
There is no infrastructure set in place to build a foundation to start over again.”
Various WSU organizations participated in the event.
Nicholas Klaus, editor of the Wayne Literary Review, shared two poems by famous Japanese poets, and staff from the WSU Japanese program gave out origami cranes.
Kimberly Hodor, WSU student, was born and raised in Japan.
She has friends and family living there.
“I was especially worried about my brother because he works in a nuclear plant. I was relieved when I talked to him a couple of days later and knew that he was okay,” she said. “However, the tsunami left thousands of people confirmed dead and many more injured and missing. This is just the beginning. That is why I as a Japanese will never forget the warm people here at Wayne State.”
“It was very fortunate that all my family members survived tsunami,” said Dr. Eishi Asano, who is an assistant professor for the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology at the WSU School of Medicine. “But many people still live in shelters because of lack of landlines and radiation exposures. They are waiting for you help.”
He treats children with epileptic seizures.
Linda Seatts, director of the Office of International Student Services, invited students and faculty to give their condolences and comments.
Seatts said whenever there is an international incident, such a natural disaster or a civil uprising in Libya, the OISS goes into "crisis mode."
There is a disaster relief fund drive for the victims of the tsunami-earthquake in Japan.
Donations may be dropped at the DOSO, Cashier’s Office or OISS.
Proceeds will go to the American Red Cross Japan Disaster Relief Effort.