the brave fukushima workers: i want to remember

Last March 11, the world witnessed what you would usually think just happens in the movies. Japan was hit by a powerful 9.0 (initially indicated as 8.9) magnitude earthquake. The country is the best prepared when it comes to disaster preparedness, but the tsunami that followed was so huge was just no stopping it.

Watching it happen on live television was like a scene from a movie. On CNN and BBC, you could see the water from the beach slowly receding to be followed by a huge wall of water (ten meters to be precise) raging towards the coastal city of Sendai. It looked slower from aerial view but I can imagine how fast it must be when seen from the ground! The tsunami just uprooted not just trees, but entire houses from their very spot. One house was even seen in the Pacific Ocean!

It was a horror to see. To know how frail even the most advanced man-made technology is against the wrath of nature. To see houses and cars being swept away by a huge mass of water, knowing that in a few or a lot of them are people. I only pray that it does not happen again to any country.

To make matters worse, the tsunami affected several nuclear reactors in Fukushima which is now a major cause of alarm as the possibility of a meltdown increases every day. Nobody wants another Chernobyl. And so, while the rest of the people of Fukushima has evacuated the city, some workers of the nuclear power plant chose to stay behind to do everything they can to make sure the situation does not go from bad to worse.

The situation is like a scene from Armageddon. A clear suicide mission. Kamikaze. Running your plane through the enemy would be more merciful. A quick heroic death and it's all over. But these workers are martyrs. They are at risk for dying from explosions, that's clear. What is much worse, once they get the situation under control (I believe it!), who knows what can happen to these people. Most probable is the slow death of cancer. Possibly isolation from loved-ones. Either one is not something you would like brave souls should receive after saving a population. Yet they are still there, fully aware of the risks and still whole-hearted in their valiance.

I want to remember what bravery is like because it may not be something I will have the chance to exercise or if the situation comes, I may take the coward's way. I want to remember these people. They are nameless and faceless to me. I have read a few names, a couple of stories and the short snippets are already heartbreaking.

I want to remember because through them I have seen nobility and it is beautiful.