The town of Rikuzentakata was once famous for its picturesque shoreline painted with 70,000 pine trees. However, when the ocean waters finally receded after the tsunami of March 11, 2011, only one tree remained. Standing proud at over 80 feet, this single pine battled on for 18 months after the tsunami until finally perishing due to the overwhelming amount of salt that was introduced to the surrounding earth. Although no longer standing tall, the memory of “the miracle pine” will live on thanks to a newly erected monument in its honor.

To create the monument, an impression of the pine tree was taken using giant moulds, allowing artists to recreate the tree as it looked after the tsunami. The miracle pine monument will be unveiled this week and will forever stand as a symbol, reminding the people of Japan that hope exists, life endures, and if this single tree could stand tall when 69,999 others could not, then maybe Japan too can overcome the seemingly impossible task of rebuilding and moving forward.

Source: This is Colossal