24-Year-Old Teacher First American Identified in Japan's Rubble

Taylor Anderson, Japan earthquake
Taylor Anderson (left) in Japan

Bubbly 24-year-old Taylor Anderson had been teaching in Japan since 2008.  When the 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck there on March 11, Anderson diligently waited until every student in her school had been evacuated and picked up by their parents or moved to higher ground before riding her bike back to her apartment.  During her ride home, tsunami alarms sounded and Anderson was one of the many thousands lost to the terrifying waves.  Anderson was the first American identified yesterday among Japan’s rubble.  According to MSNBC, “Until Monday’s announcement, none of the estimated 50,000-plus Americans living in or visiting Japan when the quake hit had been confirmed killed.”

Despite hailing from Virginia, Anderson had been something of a Japanophile her entire life, having studied Japanese language in middle school and then minored in Asian Studies at college.  Her sister Julia told MSNBC last week, “She was living the life that she always wanted and she was getting to know a culture she was always fascinated with,” adding, “Her students loved her.”

NBC’s Lee Cowan created a lovely profile of Anderson for the Nightly News that will surely bring a tear to your eye and make you appreciate every wonderful teacher you and your children have ever had, and the kind of joyful, youthful heart it takes to travel half-way around the world in the service of learning:

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Source and photo: MSNBC

Article Posted 6 years Ago

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