Historic Battle of Okinawa anniversary today
by Bill Charles: "The bloodiest battle of World War II, the Battle of Okinawa ended with more than 12,000 Americans and 107,500 Japanese troops killed, along with at least 42,000 Okinawa citizens dead. It began as Operation Iceberg, a massive military invasion American planners expected to be the stepping stone to attacks on mainland Japan, the first step in bringing and end to the war. Instead, the Battle of Okinawa combined six weeks later with atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima to abruptly end the conflict. Ceremonies remembering the tetsu no bow, the storm of steel that fell during 82 days of combat, usually take place at Memorial Peace Prayer Park in Itoman. Tens of thousands flock to the park each year to honor victims of the battle." (edited)
Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy' s staff cancelled her planned visit due to scheduling conflict to the Tsushima-maru Memorial Museum in Naha today Monday, dedicated to the sinking of the 6,754-ton Tsushima Maru. The ship was torpedoed by a U.S. submarine on Aug. 22, 1944, the submarine USS Bowfin, close to the island of Akusekijima, while evacuating schoolchildren and other people from Okinawa Prefecture to mainland Japan. Half of the over 1,400 people who died were children. Caroline Kennedy visited the National War Dead Peace Mausoleum at the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman, February 12, 2014.