A message from Akiko Yamazaki

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Akiko-san is Yamazaki’s san’s niece. She wanted to share this message with all of Fort Bragg. Thank you to Mari Newell for translating.

May 5, 2011

Dear Fort Bragg Friends,

The Earthquake has hit Otsuchi on March 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m. Then the tsunami and the fire made our town devastated. Everything happened in a blink that I still can not believe this reality.

There are numerous victims including my uncle, Yamazaki Katsutaro and his daughter, Yamazaki Kazumi, and still many citizens missing in our community.

It has about two months passed since the tragedy. Our community is working on its recovery thanks for a lot of support and encouragement.

My uncle was looking forward to a visit to Fort Bragg for the ceremony which celebrates 10th Anniversary of our sister city exchange program. I am so grateful for everything that my uncle had received from you during last ten years. He often told us stories which explained how wonderful and how generous your community is. Every story convinced us that he had good friends in Fort Bragg who loved him. His dream was going to Fort Bragg to live and enjoy his retirement. It seemed to me Fort Bragg was my uncle’s second hometown.

Katsutaro YamazakiMy uncle will remain with us, being our sister city bond, forever in our hearts.
My family members can not accept the fact; this disaster and the loss of our family members, especially un uncle who used to hold family spirit. However, we have to go forward.

I am so thankful to Fort Bragg friends for all your support. And thank you very much for the most precious friendship you have provided to my uncle.

I look forward to seeing you again in Otsuchi where my uncle lives, where we live.

Here is my uncle’s usual greetings:
Thank you Fort Bragg! I love Fort Bragg! See you again!
-Katsutaro Yamazaki

Sincerely yours,

Akiko Yamazaki

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One Response to A message from Akiko Yamazaki

  1. Brenda Loudon says:

    It is hard to but into words how your heart must feel with the losses you have had to go through. ‘Yamazaki-san’ will always be for us, the spirit that continually kept the Otsuchi-Fort Bragg exchange flowing. We always expected to see his smile, either here in Fort Bragg when he came to his second home, or when we brought our Fort Bragg students and adults to Otsuchi. I feel honored to have known him for the last eight years. I have seen him each visit since the second student exchange to Fort Bragg. His smile, his spirit and his energy will always be missed.
    More than anything, please let Chiyo-chan know how her mother and grandfather changed so many lives of the people of our sister cities. Without her grandfather’s commitment and her mother’s heart to care for the children of Fort Bragg, lives would be very different. They changed lives for the better. This includes my own son, Sam. This was no ordinary task!! I would like her to keep this close to her heart.

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