Tomori’s stone lion one of the most famous survivors of the Battle of Okinawa
It is an iconic photograph that has come to symbolize the Battle of Okinawa — a pair of GIs huddled behind a menacing stone lion, observing a nearby ridge through binoculars, a handful of their fellow soldiers taking cover nearby.
They are fatigued from battle and their hands, like their uniforms, are caked with dirt. The fog of war settles over the battlefield, which is all around them.
Today, Tomori is a sleepy farm community roughly 30 minutes south of Okinawa’s capital, Naha, on the island’s southern tip. The soldiers and their machines of war are gone, having been replaced by concrete homes, neat rows of growing vegetables, livestock and rusting farm equipment.
Yet Tomori remembers, and the eyes of the elderly follow American visitors intently as they pass through the rolling hills of lime rock and their narrow farm roads.
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