03/11/2015 09:50 am ET Updated Mar 11, 2015

Beautiful Photos Capture Japan's Resilience 4 Years After Its Worst Disaster Since WWII

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck northeast Japan, triggering a massive tsunami and a crippling nuclear crisis. Nearly 19,000 people lost their lives in the disaster -- the country's worst since World War II.

On Wednesday, the victims of the March 11 catastrophe were remembered in ceremonies across Japan. At 2:46 p.m. -- the time the earthquake struck -- the country observed a minute of silence.

Four years after the crisis, Japan continues its path to recovery. The stunning photos below document the country's resilience and its efforts to rebuild.

Japan Recovers