Kishaba Elementary School’s seniors hold graduation ceremony after 68 years
June 20, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo
On June 19, a graduation ceremony was held at Kitanakagusuku Elementary School for graduates who were unable to receive their certificates due to the war. Seventeen people who were due to graduate in March 1945 are now at least 80 years old. They were happy to be receiving their certificates 68 years later, but could not but cast their minds back to their classmates who died during the war.
All the 763 current pupils of Kitanakagusuku Elementary School, the graduates’ families, Kitanakagusuku Mayor Kunio Arakaki, members of the Board of Education and the Assembly attended the ceremony. The graduates entered the venue to applause from pupils and joined in singing the school song. In place of Seiki Shimabukuro, who was the principal of Kishaba Elementary School in 1945, current principal Hiromi Ishiki handed over the graduation certificates. Remembering the war, some graduates shed tears as they received their certificates.
On behalf of the graduates, Kazumi Asato said, “When we were in the sixth grade we were not able to go to school because of the war and the situation around us was so bad that we couldn’t study. There is nothing so stupid as war.” He expressed his delight, saying, “Fortunately we survived and now are very happy that so many people celebrate our graduation.”
Representing the current pupils, Shutaro Higa, who is in the sixth grade at Kitanakagusuku Elementary School, said, “I have had a think about the difficulties and terrible things that come with war. I want to think about what we can do to help create a world without war.”
Principal Ishiki said, “All of our pupils and staff sincerely rejoice on the occasion of our seniors’ graduation. I think that their friends who died during 68 years would also be happy that this ceremony has been held.”
(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)
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