The Maeda Escarpment today, facing what was the Japanese position, as seen on April 4, 2019.  MATTHEW M. BURKE/STARS AND STRIPES
The Maeda Escarpment today, facing what was the Japanese position, as seen on April 4, 2019. MATTHEW M. BURKE/STARS AND STRIPES

Okinawa’s Hacksaw Ridge, once the site of bloody battle, now a peaceful place to recall acts of valor

by Matthew M. Burke
Stars and Stripes

The thing that stands out about Okinawa’s idyllic Maeda Escarpment today is its peacefulness.

Rolling green fields, trees, unique rock formations and stunning vistas greet dog walkers, lovers, foreign tourists and local schoolchildren alike.

As if these stunning natural features were not enough, the escarpment is a wonder for a totally unrelated reason. It is known by another name that commands reverence: Hacksaw Ridge.

Hacksaw Ridge — as the name implies — was the site of some of the bloodiest fighting during the Battle of Okinawa 74 years ago. It was immortalized in the 2016 film of the same name directed by Mel Gibson. The film depicts the heroics of then 26-year-old Army Pfc. Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist from Lynchburg, Va., who received the Medal of Honor for his actions under fire there.

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.594484

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