In just under two and a half hours from now, Japan will mark it's first anniversary of the earthquake of its northeastern coast, and the subsequent tsunami that wreaked destruction and bought about the worst nuclear disaster in the world in the past twenty-five years.
Right now, I can still feel the complete shock that hit me seeing the pictures playing out before my eyes on the evening news. The whole situation was unreal to me - much like the 9/11 footage so many years ago - being distanced by viewing the disaster remotely, and being powerless to help.
We were asked to Pray. We were asked to Give. We did so willingly. But it seemed nothing when seeing the destruction and death facing those affected.
The images that emerged, the videos of miracle escapes, the frightening footage remains as some of the most powerful images I've ever seen. Perhaps most tellingly, for me is awaiting the moment at 1446 when the quake is charted on the Japan Quake Map - a large flash nearly encompassing the entire map, still sends chills down my spine. The relative 'silence' leading up to this moment, played out in a rather benign computer graphic, is still a powerful reminder a year later.
Still in the face of the disaster, the Japanese people were admirable in their determination to carry on.
And they still are...