War memories must be preserved; pledge made at Memorial Ceremony in Tinian

War memories must be preserved; pledge made at Memorial Ceremony in Tinian

Attendees praying for the souls of those lost in war on May 26 at Tinian’s “Okinawa Tower”


May 27, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
On May 26, the 38th Tinian Memorial Ceremony for War Victims of Okinawan Descent was held at the “Okinawa Tower” located on the Carolinas Plateau in Tinian, in the Northern Mariana Islands. Around 80 people attended the memorial ceremony, their families, and local people. Attendees prayed for the souls of those killed in the land battle that occurred in Tinian 71 years ago, and they pledged to pass on the memories of the war.

Atsushi Asato, 70, who lost his older brother, older sister, and uncle in the war, spoke as a representative for families of the deceased. In his memorial speech, he stated; “the young people who died must have wanted to keep on living. Dying must have been very painful for them. We must understand that feeling. We Okinawans also experienced hardship, but the indigenous people of Tinian experienced occupation since the 17th century, first by Spain, then Germany, Japan, and the United States, and they ended up getting caught up in the war. In addition to the souls of Okinawans, I want to mourn the souls of people from every country.”

Yoshikame Isa, vice president of the Okinawa Tinian Association, stated, “We have set up information plaques and signs in areas with connections to Okinawa, but we want to keep working even harder to ensure that these memories continue to be preserved [by following generations].”

(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)

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