Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tsunami Memorial

After following news reports focusing on tsunami debris washing ashore on the Oregon Coast, the Japanese dock on Agate Beach in particular, we began to understand the unique and important opportunity presented to Oregon citizens:  transform these debris into something important.  Make something beautiful.  Create Place.

Fueled by a newfound connection to what was viewed as rubbish by many, we developed a conceptual memorial design. We presented it to both the City of Newport and the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center, with hopes of spurring a dialogue and ultimately the construction of a memorial.

Now is the time to think big.  The Japanese dock has captured Oregon's imagination. As an object, it has transcended its original purpose, and now embodies Oregon's relationship, both culturally and seismically with our Japanese neighbors.  I suggest that we rally our fellow Oregonians to build a memorial worthy of Japan's resilience and grace in the face of disaster, a disaster that could have just as easily befallen our shores.

No memorial of a significant size or distinction has been created in the United States to commemorate the Japanese Tsunami. By providence, the dock made landfall in Newport. Therefore, it seems practically pre-destined that Newport be home to this memorial. 

If you’re interested in becoming part of the dialogue contact The City of Newport.