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Misawa remembers Japan earthquake, tsunami on anniversary

U.S. Air Force Col. Al Wimmer, 35th Fighter Wing vice commander, stands with members of the local Japanese community to observe a moment of silence to remember the victims of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and subsequent tsunami during a ceremony in Oirase Town, Japan, on March 11, 2012. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami took the lives of more than 16,000 people.

U.S. Air Force Col. Al Wimmer, 35th Fighter Wing vice commander, and several members of the local Japanese community gathered in Oirase Town, Japan, on Sunday to observe a moment of silence and remember the victims of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and subsequent tsunami that claimed the lives of more than 16,000 people and left more than 3,000 unaccounted for, according to an Air Force press release.

Flags flew at half staff on Sunday at Misawa Air Base, Japan, as officials marked the one-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent tsunami, according to information from the 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office.

Additionally, more than 350 runners and volunteers participated in a 5K remembrance run hosted by the Misawa Air Base American Red Cross. At the Momoishi Port in Oirase Town, Japanese fishermen and volunteers shelled clams to make stew during an earthquake/tsunami remembrance ceremony.

A day earlier, on March 10, hundreds of children from the local Japanese community and children from Misawa Air Base gathered along the bank of the Oirase River to release more than 3 million baby salmon, as a contribution to upcoming Earth Day, which inspires awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment, the release stated.

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