June 23rd is Okinawa’s memorial day (慰霊の日). It was the day Japanese Imperial Army was defeated by the U.S. Armed Forces in Battle of Okinawa 71 years ago.
Many people who lost their families and relatives in the battle visit the Peace Memorial Park on Mabuni Hill in the city of Itoman where the final major combat took place. Here, all the names of those who were killed in the battle are inscribed on the Cornerstone of Peace regardless of their nationality.
Many Okinawans also visit the monuments built around the islands to commemorate particular groups of those who perished in the war.
Konpaku Monument (on the pictures above and below) was built in Komesu area a few miles away from the Peace Memorial Park where the largest number of bodies in a single place were found after the battle. So many of those who cannot find bodies of their loved ones’ or don’t know where they died come to this place to pray for them.
At noon, the entire islands are filled with moment of silence.
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