The Independent Florida Alligator reported :
In a span of a couple days after the disaster struck, Berryhill’s Navy squadron, along with other squadrons from Pennsylvania, began mission work to help those in need.
That Friday, Berryhill went on a mission to distribute 21,000 pounds of food to the survivors, which they dropped off at another air base to be trucked down to the disaster areas.
In the Navy’s missions, supplies ranging from seismology gear to toilet paper to blankets were delivered.
However, Rod Turbak, Berryhill’s commanding officer, said that Japan’s government never formally asked for the help.
“Everybody wants to reach out and lend a helping hand,” he said. “People donated things. They piled up quite fast.“
Part of the cargo delivered by the Navy was from donations. The rest were from supplies that were on hand.
While flying on the relief missions, Berryhill and his crew were given radiation detectors to determine their nuclear contamination resulting from the destruction.
Based on the readings, the crew hadn’t been contaminated.
Now he’s back in Gainesville with his wife and 14-month-old child. But Berryhill, who had lived in Japan for three years, said he still carries a personal attachment to the area.
“I hold a special place in my heart for the Japanese people,” he said. “This is a huge tragedy. It was an honor to serve and assist our friends in time of need.”
You’ll see an older Japanese man a little ways into the clip, speaking to the camera. What he says is, essentially, that the townspeople had no idea the Americans were coming or bringing them anything. There was no announcement or anything about it. Which is true. Between the destroyed roads and the radiation fears, hardly anyone can even get to the Sendai area. But these US pilots did.
You’ll also see, near the end of the clip, a group of older men watching as the Navy man stacks boxes of supplies from the helicopter on the tarmac. They’re standing still watching him because they’re stunned. That plus the language barrier puts them in a position where they just don’t know what to do. But you can see one of them making little gestures with his hands, as if in prayer. That’s a sign of very deep respect and gratitude.
More from the YouTube comments:
Thank you for all your support and thoughts. I want you to understand that those people are in rural area and they often don’t know how to approach foreigners. I think that’s why they just hoverd around but you can see they started to work together. People in Tohoku are said to be very mild, simple and warm.
Some sniping by Japanese commenters at YouTube, was directed toward the Japanese government for being so slow in their response, but mostly people were just thanking the Americans:
One person merely said:
焼きそばおいしそう – Yummy noodles
On a sidenote: Where are the Arab Offers of Aid to Japan?
Since the end of World War II, Japan has been one of the most generous donors to the international community. Rather tellingly, when the 8.9 earthquake struck northern Japan, its own rescue units were in New Zealand helping that country recover from their earthquake. Its forces have regularly been dispatched around the world to help international aid efforts. The island nation has also offered some of the greatest amount of financial aid. After the massive tsunami struck Indonesia in 2005, Japan offered $500 million in aid – nearly as much as the United States, Great Britain, and China combined. For Afghanistan, it pledged $5 billion in aid– over one third of the total aid pledged worldwide. In the Arab world, Japan has served as a leading donor to the Palestinians via UNWRA, and has also provided assistance to the Palestinian Authority, Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen – to name a few.
Yet despite these realities, there is a deafening silence coming from the Arab world in response to Japan’s numerous catastrophes. Arab states sit atop the largest oil reserves in the world. According to the International Monetary Fund, in 2010, both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates sat in the top ten countries in the world with the highest per-capita GDP. Nonetheless, at the time of publication, there have been no reported offers of aid to Japan from any Arab country – either financial or otherwise. In fact, if you were to Google the words ‘Arab aid to Japan’ (without quotes), the only relevant hit would be the first – which is a blogger mocking the Arab world for its silence. Contrast this with a Google search for ‘Israel aid to Japan’ or ‘Jewish aid to Japan’, and the differences are staggering: you find pages upon pages of relevant hits. Similar hits can be found when searching for Jewish and Israeli aid activities for Thailand, India, Turkey, Pakistan, and of course, Haiti.
Anyone know of an Arab Nation aiding Japan?
Hat tip: Weasel Zippers