昨日は・・・

12 Feb

Yesterday, February 11th, was the anniversary of a few things…not all of them good.

For one, February 11th is a holiday in Japan. 「建国記念日」 (“National Founding Day”). (Click here for my short FAQ about it.)

It was kind of a waste that February 11 was on a Saturday this year because most people already had the day off and the holiday wasn’t observed on another day. If it was a Sunday, then tomorrow (Monday) would have been a day off.
Oh well.

February 11th also happens to be my father-in-law’s birthday.

Those two are the “happy” anniversaries of February 11th. The following two are more somber ones:

Yesterday, February 11 (2012), was the eleven-month anniversary of the 2011 March 11 earthquake / tsunami in north-eastern Japan.

The other sad event happened exactly twenty-four years ago yesterday. On 1988 February 11. At my high school in Florida.
It was many years until I was finally able to talk about this. Maybe it was post-traumatic shock.
But at lunch time on 1988 February 11, I was a senior-year high school student (in the final year of high school) and when I went into the lunch room I witnessed two students in a struggle with some teachers and then suddenly one of the boys drew a gun and shot the assistant principal Richard Allen fatally in the head!
All of the students in the lunch room began screaming and running but I suppose I was in shock because I just stood there staring. Everyone seemed to be running past me in slow-motion.
The memory no longer wakes me in nightmare but I will never forget that day.

A memorial photo of Richard Allen at my former high school in Florida (Pinellas Park HS).

If you click here, you can read a newspaper article about the tragic shooting at my former high school that was written four years ago on the twentieth anniversary.

Richard Allen, R.I.P.

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18 Responses to “昨日は・・・”

  1. jeff77 May 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    That’s a crazy story. R.I.P. Mr. Allen.

    Like

    • tokyo5 May 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      Thanks.

      Last February marked the 25th anniversary of this shooting at my former high-school in Florida.

      Like

  2. Japan who April 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your issues. He lives in Florida now.
    http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Florida/Pasco-County-FL/Jason-Edward-Harless.1984311.html

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 27, 2012 at 12:37 am #

      I wouldn’t say that I have “issues”. Many years have passed since the shooting at my high school in Florida…I don’t even think about it anymore.

      Anyways, how did you know the name of one of the students?

      Like

  3. musings February 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    tokyo5 :
    You have visited Japan many times, haven’t you?
    That’s great!
    What part of Japan do you like best?

    I can’t really say what’s my favorite place. I should say Sendai because so much of family is there, but we’ve enjoyed lots of places near Tokyo too. The history in Kyoto is fabulous.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 24, 2012 at 12:44 am #

      Yes, each area of Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa and from Tokyo to Kyoto are all unique…and great!

      What I meant by my question, though, was which do you prefer: the traditional 下町 (downtown areas) or the more modern parts of Japan?

      Like

  4. Dan Tsukasa / 司 ダン (@Dan_Tsukasa) February 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Feburary the 11th was my 25th Birthday, which involved me spending almost my entire day travelling back to england on planes and trains, though when I finally arrived home no one had really remembered my birthday aside from my girlfriend and 1 of my friends, so I suppose it wasn’t too bad a day really.

    I can imagine that you were pretty traumatised for a few years after that incident, though probably not ‘knowingly’ traumatised by it as such.

    I think the monthly anniverseries are a little extreem myself, I undersand 1,5 and 12 month anniverseries, but 3,4,6,7,8,9,10 seems a little extreem, meaning that every month would be an anniversery for the next however many years, I don’t think most americans sit and say (at a random number) its been 136 months since 9/11. Please don’t missunderstand, I’m not downplaying the tragedy at all.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

      >Feburary the 11th was my 25th Birthday,

      OK, Happy (belated) birthday.

      >I think the monthly anniverseries are a little extreem myself

      I guess you’re referring to my comment above about February 11th being the eleven-month anniversary of the Sendai earthquake.

      The 11th of every month was mentioned on TV here in Japan as an anniversary of the earthquake but only for the first year. It’s still a fairly recent major tragedy.

      >I undersand 1,5 and 12 month anniverseries,

      Why “five months”? Wouldn’t “six month” make more sense?

      >I don’t think most americans sit and say (at a random number) its been 136 months since 9/11.

      As I said, the Sendai earthquake is being remembered on a monthly basis only for the first year (until next month)…not every month for over eleven years (132 months).
      I believe ten years ago, when the 9/11 attacks occurred in America, the tragedy was remembered on the 11th of each month for the first year, too.

      Like

      • Dan Tsukasa / 司 ダン (@Dan_Tsukasa) February 20, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

        >OK, Happy (belated) birthday.
        Thankyou

        >Why “five months”? Wouldn’t “six month” make more sense?

        Sorry I made a typo here, I meant 6 months, appologies.

        >As I said, the Sendai earthquake is being remembered on a monthly basis only for the first year (until next month)…not every month for over eleven years (132 months).
        I believe ten years ago, when the 9/11 attacks occurred in America, the tragedy was remembered on the 11th of each month for the first year, too.

        ah yes, for the first year makse sense, I didn’t consider that, longer than 1 year would only be things like 10 year and 50 year anniverseries (perhaps they will have these).

        Like

      • tokyo5 February 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

        >for the first year makse sense, I didn’t consider that, longer than 1 year would only be things like 10 year and 50 year anniverseries (perhaps they will have these).

        I’m sure there will be memorial services for the Sendai Earthquake on “benchmark” anniversaries such as “ten years” (like their was last September in America on the ten year anniversary of “9/11”).

        Like

  5. musings February 14, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    Oh my gosh! That’s awful! I can imagine why that traumatized you so much.

    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 11 months since Sendai. We’re looking forward to seeing the city soon.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      Are you going to visit the Sendai area? When?

      Like

      • musings February 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

        Oh yes! Definitely. My aunt, uncles and cousins are all waiting for us this spring. They’ve said they’d like to take us to some places very dear to them that were devastated. We’ve also got relatives and friends in Tokyo to see so we’ll be seeing them as well. Looks like we’ll be running around crazy again. Good thing we have the wheelchair for mom.

        Like

      • tokyo5 February 17, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

        You have visited Japan many times, haven’t you?
        That’s great!

        What part of Japan do you like best?

        Like

  6. Metal Odyssey February 14, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    Congratulations back to you as well! Whoa… does time fly by or what? You and your wife are 5 years away from your “Silver Wedding Anniversary” too. 🙂

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 14, 2012 at 12:13 am #

      >Congratulations back to you

      Thanks.

      >does time fly…5 years away from your “Silver Wedding Anniversary”

      Yeah, I can’t believe it! I can’t believe that my kids are almost the age I was when I first came to Japan!

      Like

  7. Metal Odyssey February 13, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    I am so sorry for the “sad” anniversaries that February 11th shares in your life. I could never imagine being in that situation you were in, during that High School incident. Thank goodness you were not hurt!

    Here is another “positive” anniversary to add to February 11th though: it is my wedding anniversary! My wife and I have now been married for 17 years… whoa and Metal be thy name.

    Like

    • tokyo5 February 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

      >I am so sorry for the “sad” anniversaries that February 11th shares in your life…Thank goodness you were not hurt!

      Thanks. I appreciate that.

      >Here is another “positive” anniversary to add to February 11th though: it is my wedding anniversary!…17 years

      That is a positive February 11th anniversary! Congratulations!

      Actually my 結婚記念日 (wedding anniversary) is coming up, too. March 2nd will be my wife and my 20th anniversary.

      Like

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