The Consul General of Japan, Kuninori Matsuda gave a very moving speech thanking "all of our friends across Michigan - individuals, schools, churches, non-profits, corporations and local governments- for your generosity and your solidarity with the Japanese people." We know that this gift truly stems from kizuna: the bond of friendship."
Speeches were also given by our Governor Rick Snyder and Lansing's Mayor Virg Bernero. Mrs. Mary Fales, mother of a Michigan man teaching English in Kesennuma City at the time of the earthquake spoke of her son's experience and Dr. Jeffrey Angles read original and translated poetry written in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Each guest recieved a gift from Fukushima (pictured above). The folk art doll represents the mind of the Tohoku people who are calmly and patiently working on reconstruction with the spirit of "never give up" in the aftermath of the Great Earthquake, as it always stands up with gentle smile however many times it is knocked over.
I tried to knock it over. Like our own Weeble's, it bounces right back up when you knock it over!