Memorial Service for 10.10 Air Raid held

Memorial Service for 10.10 Air Raid held

Participants in the memorial service prayed for war victims in front of the Naguyake Peace Monument at Naha City Wakasa Seaside Park on October 10.

October 11, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

This year marks 69 years since the U.S. military launched the large scale air raid on Naha on 10 October 1944. The Naha City War Dead Joint Association organized the 18th memorial service in front of Naguyake Peace Monument of Naha City Wakasa Seaside Park on October 10. The monument enshrines the souls of the more than 29,000 people from Naha who died in the Battle of Okinawa, including the victims of the air raid. About 120 people from bereaved families attended the ceremony, praying for the victims of the war and for lasting peace. The participants paid their respects with one minute’s silence.

The chairman of the association, Masamitsu Omine, said in his speech, “Unexploded ordnance is buried underground as the negative legacy of the war and human bones still lay in the hills and fields. We have a responsibility to continue to convey to our children and grandchildren the stupidity and misery of war and how precious life is. We must not allow wars to happen.”

Seventy-eight-year-old Tadamune Kudaka lost his father in the air raid. After that, all of his family members except for his father were evacuated to Kumamoto. “I don’t have any of my father’s remains nor any memento to remember him by. Because I was young, I don’t remember much about him at all. Today I came here to say to him that I have gone on to grow up.” Kudaka said.

Tomiko Inafuku, who is 79 years old and experienced the 10 October air raid, said, “I remember that day well. I saw many dead bodies in Naha. The city was a sea of fire. The sound of U.S. warplanes during the ceremony brought back memories of that day. I never want to experience war again.”

During the memorial service, a U.S. Marine Corps’ MV-22 Osprey flew nearby. The noise from its engines sometimes drowned out the voices of those reading the sutras and funeral speeches.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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