Tsunami dock: 'It touches many Japanese people ... thinking about it'

NEWPORT, Ore. - Crowds of people flooded the removal site for the Japanese dock that washed up on Agate Beach, hoping to soak in the excitement surrounding its relocation. The dock has become one of the most famous pieces of tsunami debris to wash ashore to date since its appearance in June.

As crews cut the 300,000-pound chunk of dock into 5 pieces to move it Wednesday, hundreds of people crowded around to get one last glimpse at a piece of history. The Stanfill family traveled all the way from Vancouver to see the removal process.

"I wanted to see it before they tore it apart." said Glen Stanfill. "It's going to be fun coming out here for a day or so and wandering around."

While some members of the Stanfill family stared in awe at the crews demolishing the derelict dock, others were saddened by the sight.

"It is really heartbreaking." said Yasuko Stanfill. "I have family in Okinawa and also family in Japan."

Yasuko Stanfill said she was sad to think that the waves that brought the dock to Agate Beach also brought turmoil and suffering to her home country.

"So many people lost their houses, so many people lost their business, some people lost their whole family." Stanfill said.

Stanfill said that standing next to the massive dock that traveled across the Pacific in one piece is a powerful reminder of the tsunami.

"It touches too many Japanese people ... thinking about it, it's not just this." Stanfill said, gesturing to the dock.

One of the dock pieces will stay in Newport and be made into a memorial to the tsunami victims.