Battle of Okinawa Memorial Day Ceremony to be held June 23

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Battle of Okinawa Memorial Day Ceremony to be held June 23

by: Shoji Kudaka | .
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: June 21, 2016
June 23 marks the end of the Battle of Okinawa, one of the most brutal battles ever fought.  
 
This is a day of remembrance for not just Japanese but also Americans, as a significant number of people were killed on both sides during this fierce battle that began in March of 1945 and lasted over three months.  
 
Every year on this day, the Okinawa Memorial Day Ceremony is held at Peace Memorial Park in Mabuni Itoman City, which was the last battleground for the bloody fighting.  To remember the close to a quarter million lives lost by Japanese, American, Korean, Taiwanese and British service members and civilians, people will place flowers, origami cranes, food and bottles of water under their loved one’s names at a stone monument named “Heiwa no Ishiji (Cornerstone of Peace)”, which bears the 240,931 names of those who died in the battle.
 
At noon, attendees will hold a moment of silence for a minute. People in Okinawa who can’t attend the ceremony will do the same. It is the right thing for everyone to do.  Let’s take a moment and pay respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. 
 
Okinawa Memorial Day Ceremony
Date: June 23
Location: Peace Memorial Park 
Address: 444 Mabuni, Itonman City, Okinawa 901-0333
 
Schedule of Event:
• 10:30   American ceremony (open to all)
• 11:50   Okinawa prefecture ceremony (limited seating)
• 12:00   Moment of silence
• 12:05   Floral tribute
• 12:21   Peace Declaration by governor
• 12:25   Poetry reading
• 12:29   Speeches by distinguished guests
• 12:39   Closing speech
 
Dress code:
U.S. Ceremony – U.S. Military attendees should wear attire/uniforms as directed by their leadership. Civilian attendees should wear black or dark colors. For the Okinawa Prefecture Ceremony, no military uniforms can be worn. Veterans’ and retired organization headgear may be worn at the American ceremony, but the prefectural government has asked that they not be worn at the Okinawa ceremony. Civilians and service members should wear black or dark colors, or Kariyushi wear.