Thanks, Dusty! My birthday was yesterday here in Japan. My wife and I flew to Okinawa yesterday and we will stay here a month. Short-sleeve shirt weather here so that is very nice! First time to Okinawa! I am still working on my Thailand photos, but I brought my computer with me and will finish them while here.
I found this interesting article from 1987:THE BLOODIEST BATTLE OF ALLhttp://www.nytimes.com/1987/06/14/magazine/the-bloodiest-battle-of-all.htmlON OKINAWA TODAY, Flag Day will be observed with an extraordinary ceremony: two groups of elderly men, one Japanese, the other American, will gather for a solemn rite. They could scarcely have less in common.
Their motives are mirror images; each group honors the memory of men who tried to slay the men honored by those opposite them. But theirs is a common grief. After 42 years the ache is still there. They are really united by death, the one great victor in modern war.
They have come to Okinawa to dedicate a lovely monument in remembrance of the Americans, Japanese and Okinawans killed there in the last and bloodiest battle of the Pacific war. More than 200,000 perished in the 82-day struggle - twice the number of Japanese lost at Hiroshima and more American blood than had been shed at Gettysburg. My own regiment - I was a sergeant in the 29th Marines - lost more than 80 percent of the men who landed on April 1, 1945. Before the battle was over, both the Japanese and American commanding generals lay in shallow graves.