Schools here begin class in April and hold graduation ceremonies in March; like spring, they represent renewal and rebirth. On Tuesday morning, in a school meeting hall in this tsunami-ravaged seaport, it became something else: an act of defiance, reports the New York Times. Gathering in the shadow of this seaport’s tsunami disaster zone, two solemn and often tearful crowds met to award diplomas to the sixth- and ninth-grade classes of Hashikami Elementary and Junior High schools. Inside the junior high auditorium, hundreds of refugees from the March 11 tsunami rolled up their blankets and moved to the rear to...

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staff and wire services reports