Saturday, February 7, 2009

WWII Peace Park Memorial

On Saturday Adrienne and I headed south on a beautiful day :) to go to the Peace Park the commemorates the Battle of Okinawa during WWII. It's been perfect weather lately, but everyone says that if it stays warm it could get HOT sooner...not good, but I'll enjoy the pleasant weather for now! We walked around a bit outside before going into the museum. When we got inside we got the little headsets that explained things in English which was extremely helpful! As we were walking through my heart just felt heavy thinking about how awful the war was for everyone and as I've been researching Japan/Okinawa to correlate with our History lessons it amazes me how shameful the general population finds their involvement in the war. Most people didn't want to be in the war and don't like the Japanese flag due to the fact that it began as a military symbol. Bird walk...anyway, the pictures of the war were much more graphic than anything you would see in the states and there was a replica cave of where people hid from the US soldiers - I had chills standing there in the cold and damp looking at the "people" huddled together and the mother covering the baby's mouth. Every so often a "military vehicle" would rumble overhead and I think I jumped at each explosion. As shocking as the museum was, it painted an interesting picture of the island's history - as well as it's future. The US took this place over for so long and has since made their economy dependent upon the's strange thinking that the US and Japan were enemies, but I've been welcomed so wonderfully into this place. I know there are pockets of people that are resentful that the US is still here, but that isn't a general consensus. The peace park makes so much sense for this place - I've never been to a place that really seems as content as the people here are.

The view from where the Peace Bell is (there was a museum too that has the largest lacquered Buddha in the world...but we passed on that)
The peace bell - Adrienne asked if we were allowed to ring it, we figured it would be bad to get kicked out of the peace park though...

I thought this world map was really cool with all the kids pictures representing each country.

We saw this and realized that we're about 15,000 miles from home and got in this whole discussion if we could be any farther from CA...I looked it up - if we lived in northern New Zealand, we could be farther from home, I'll pass on more distance
You all are out that window - I will get there eventually :)
The back side of the museum
The Pacific Ocean :)
There were 4 groups of 7 rows of plaques that looked like this for the Japanese and 1 group of 4 of Americans - it was commemorating people that had either died in Okinawa during the battle and/or the Okinawans who died during the Pacific War - some were more recent though so I'm not sure about those people.

Seriously?? Always a beautiful view here!
Rows and rows of memorials

Afterwards we went to the Ryukyu glass factory - I LOVE that place! If you want to see the glass they make here you can see it at:

Good weekend - busy week, Valentine's Day party, Family Fun Day at school this Friday...a new student...hmmmm :)


Aimee said...

What an awesome place! Sometimes, its good to realize that the general population really didn't want war. Same in Germany and Austria.

Lauren said...

Wow. War looks quite different when you know both sides...

Cheryl said...

How interesting to learn the other side of the story. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Hope your week has gone well!