We need someone to tell the stories of the dead. Yet this is not possible now in a fast-moving news cycle where the focus is more on the technological, social, political, and economic implications for the future. In time, writers will help us understand some of the people who were taken away by a towering wall of water.
But for now, even as we worry about the fate of Japan's nuclear plants, the best we can do is to stop for a moment and imagine. Not just to memorialize faceless dead, to mourn individuals who lived a culture and an ocean away, yet with whom we share a common humanity--to stop for a moment and to imagine who they were as people.
Photo: A body, covered in a blanket, lies in the rubble of a destroyed neighborhood as firefighters search the area in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan. By AP/David Guttenfelder