ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
Unidentified Group: (Singing in foreign language)
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
ANTHONY KUHN: Moritake Moriya is adviser to the school's parent-teacher association and head of the local emergency services office. He says the PTA considered whether to postpone the graduation but decided the show must go on.
MORITAKE MORIYA: (Through Translator) Disaster or not, we consider this event a turning point and a chance for each student and each family to take the next step. Precisely because we have been through this disaster, we must try harder from now on.
KUHN: A diminutive graduate in a blue blazer named Mao Takita says the disaster has changed her life.
MAO TAKITA: (Through Translator) I wanted to be a beautician or something like that. But after the tsunami, my dreams for the future have changed. I'd like to do something that benefits others. There are so many poor countries, like - where is it, Nigeria - I want to help them. I want to volunteer.
KUHN: Yuta Kajiwara clutches his diploma and a large graduation card given to him by members of his volleyball club. He says that after the earthquake struck, everyone did what they had practiced in drills and headed straight for the school. But three students did not make it. One died, and two are still missing. Kajiwara says he has known them since grade school.
YUTA KAJIWARA: (Through Translator) Thank God, every member of my family is safe. But some of my friends have lost their homes, or they cannot find their families. I am sorry for their losses. And at the same time, I don't want them to feel depressed.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)
KUHN: Anthony Kuhn, NPR News, Kesennuma.
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