With irreparable grief, 110 people gather 56 years after US jet fighter crash
July 1, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
Fifty-six years have passed since a poorly-maintained U.S. F-100 fighter from Kadena Air Base crashed into the residential area and Miyamori Elementary School in Ishikawa City (currently Uruma City). The bereaved families, a non-profit organization, the Ishikawa Miyamori 630 Association, held a memorial ceremony at Miyamori elementary school on June 30. Members held a moment of silence for the twelve school children and six residents who were lost in the “tragic accident caused by the military base,” in the words of the representative of the family group, Yoshimori Uema. Some members also addressed opposition against the government for the construction of new base in Henoko, Nago.
All the students from Miyamori elementary school and 6th-grade students from Shiromae elementary school attended a memorial event in advance of the ceremony. The children laid flowers and a thousand paper cranes while ringing a bell of peace in front of the Nakayoshi-Jizo or Good Friend-Jizo (the protector of deceased children) statue where the victims’ names are inscribed.
The number of attendees has increased from previous years, with 110 people gathering at the ceremony. The bereaved families touched the statue and called the names of the lost while wiping away tears.
(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)
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