Some neighbors won’t return a ball when it’s hit over a fence and into their yard. Alaska, Japan’s neighbor via the world’s biggest fence (the Pacific Ocean) has returned a basketball that was swept away by the tsunami in 2011.
According to the Associated Press, the tsunami basketball washed up on a beach near Craig, Alaska, where it was found by a student. The ball had the words “Kesen chu” written on it. After doing some research, the students determined that “Kesen Chu” was short for Kesennuma Chugakko or Kesennuma Middle School in Rikuzentakata.
The students decided to ship the basketball back to the Japan school along with a few words of encouragement.
According to the Associated Press, students at Kesennuma Middle School deemed the package a miracle and immediately started playing with the ball.
Students in Alaska have found other items, like a soccer ball, a volleyball, and a football, which they plan to send back to Japan this week.
“I recognize the impact this event has had on the families and communities. Many lost their loved ones and all of their possessions. It’s not every day that you lose everything, and then [we show up] with something you believed was gone forever.”
James Brewer, senior manager of Anchorage Hub operations, added:
“As the first items that can be traced back to their owners in Japan, they are symbols of hope. The hope that what was lost can be found and the hope that was destroyed can be rebuilt.”