Monument built 5 months after disaster

SHICHIGAHAMAMACHI, Miyagi - Volunteers completed a monument Thursday built of driftwood and parts of trees felled by the March 11 tsunami in a bid to pass along lessons learned from the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake to future generations.

Five months after the disaster, on a beach in Shichigahamamachi, Miyagi Prefecture, about 50 primary school students and others planted about 1,000 flowers around the four-meter-tall monument on Shobudahama beach and prayed for the souls of victims.

Volunteers built the monument using wood debris removed from the beach. Norio Oizumi, an adviser of a Sendai engineering company who designed the monument, said: "I imagined a scene of people hugging each other. Though some residents have left the area, I hope they will gather here sometimes."