Monday, October 31, 2011

Delaware Officials Pay Their Respects To The People Of Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture




Region devastated by last spring’s earthquake and tsunami has close ties to the First State
Delaware’s strong sister-state relationship with Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture was very evident today during a visit that Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock made there on behalf of Governor Jack Markell and the people of Delaware.
Secretary Bullock began the day by placing white flowers at one of the many disaster areas in Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture, as a sign of respect to the people of Miyagi who greatly suffered as a result of last March’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. He also met with the prefecture’s governor Yoshihiro Murai, presenting him with a letter from Governor Markell.
“Our community came together quickly to help our neighbors on the other side of the world,” said Markell.  “I’m thankful for the generosity and compassion that Delawareans have shown, and I’m thankful for the strong bonds we’ve formed with our friends in Miyagi. I remain grieved by their losses, but I’m hopeful and inspired by the great strides they’ve made.”
Nearly 15 years ago, the State of Delaware formed a sister-state relationship with Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture that has involved school and business exchanges, among other fruitful partnerships. Following last spring’s tragic events, the outpouring of support from Delawareans was significant. It was no doubt a result of the long relationship the two have shared.
In total, some 500 individuals and couples, schools, businesses, and organizations throughout the First State donated over $100,000 to Miyagi, with more than 90% going to Miyagi’s Children’s Fund to support children who lost one or both parents in the earthquake, tsunami, and their aftermath. Additional funds were allocated to immediate relief during the earlier stages of the response and infrastructure needs.
Outreach to the community through radio, print and social media was critical to the awareness-raising effort. The Delmarva Broadcasting Company’s family of radio stations played Public Service Announcements for several days and joined together with the News Journal to support a fundraising event at Dover Downs. Individual community members and other media organizations joined the effort through social media and online to update Delawareans on the conditions in Miyagi and rally support.
“Miyagi was hit incredibly hard, but they have also done an amazing job of bouncing back – handling the crisis well and moving forward in a well-thought out, organized way,” said Secretary Bullock. “Miyagi is already returning to normal, thanks to the determination of its people with whom we are honored to be connected through our sister-state relationship.”