3.11 Memorial Event to Be Held at LAPD

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Love to Nippon 2013, a memorial event commemorating the two-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, will take place on Sunday, March 10, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters, Ronald F. Deaton Civic Auditorium, 100 W. First Street, Los Angeles.

Tsunami survivor Masako Unoura Tanaka and her husband, Ted Tanaka, at last year’s memorial. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Ecumenical service and prayers will be offered from 2 to 3:30 p.m., followed by a memorial program from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Presented by Japan America Society of Southern California (JASSC), Nichi Bei Fujin Kai (Japan America Women’s Organization) and Love to Nippon Project, this peaceful event is a community-wide tribute to loved ones lost and for those still suffering from the March 11, 2011 catastrophe. The memorial will include special prayers and a commemorative program with Japanese classical dance and musical tributes from local community and religious organizations as well as Japan. Emcees for the event are Janet LeBlanc and Jennifer Usyak.

Guest speakers will also share how people can continue to help and encourage the victims in Japan to rebuild their lives. Love to Nippon 2013 presenters include: Madame Hisami Wakayagi, Japanese classical dancer; Yusuke Tominaga, composer and singer from Fukuoka; Erika Olsen, singer and 2011 Nisei Week Queen; the Holiness Youth Choir; and the Orange County Friendship Choir.

Battalion Chief Larry Collins and David Stone of the Los Angeles Fire Department, first responders in Japan, will lead a panel discussion on what Los Angeles is doing to prepare for its own potential earthquake and tsunami with Lowell Safier and Teri Lee Hirano. A documentary video of Jun Suzuki, resident of Minami-Sanriku will be presented by Darrell Miho and Ken Matsui of Ai Love Japan.

Building on the overwhelming response of last year’s first annual Love to Nippon memorial event, this year the organizers have added activities to raise awareness of disaster preparedness, including outdoor booths and displays that will offer brochures and other materials. This is part of the Love to Nippon Project’s efforts to prepare the Southern Californian community for future natural disasters through sharing information and education. The group hopes to have “3.11” designated as an official disaster preparedness day for all of Southern California.

Love to Nippon attendees are encouraged to bring flowers or incense in loving remembrance of family members and friends lost, as well as those still affected by Japan’s worst natural disaster.

Seating is limited. Reservations are recommended. For more information, contact the Japan  America Society at [email protected] or call (213) 627-6217.

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