The past few days and indeed the last few weeks have seen the churning up of a massive effort to recall and reflect upon the triple disaster of March 11, 2011, an effort in which I have been a willing and enthusiastic participant.
However, let us remember that today is March 10, the 67th anniversary of the incendiary bombing of Tokyo's low city. In the encyclopedia of horror that was World War II, the March 10, 1945 bombing of Tokyo was just another, particularly heinous chapter. As far as I can reckon, in terms of number of persons killed in a single day, the March 10 bombing was surpassed in recent times only by the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake, the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Five times as many were killed or went missing that night as in the event we will all be talking about tomorrow.
Perhaps these two days together will become a time of reflection – of how the powers of nature and our follies can defeat our best efforts and prey upon our worst tendencies – here at the juncture of the seasons, when the cold bite of winter cedes the land to the warm smile of spring.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis...