The observance of Liberation Day on Sunday reminded us not only of how far we’ve come since World War II but also of how much further we need to go.
Our island community should continue to help heal the wounds of war for all involved. Island leaders must find a way to get war reparations checks into the hands of manåmko’ before it is too late.
At the same time, our community should continue to help in the recovery and repatriation of Japanese war casualties.
The Japan Association for the Recovery and Repatriation of War Casualties recently claimed the remains of as many as 13 Japanese soldiers killed during the war.
The Guam State Historic Preservation Office turned the remains over to the Consulate General of Japan last month, from where they have been awaiting the arrival of the recovery team to take them away.
“The families in Japan are looking forward to having some remains of family members who fought here,” said Izumi Seki, the Japanese consul general on Guam. “So few remains have been recovered on Guam.”
Seki noted that of the 20,000 who died here, only 503 have been found and returned. “There is much more to be done,” she said.
We appreciate the work of those who assisted in the recovery of the remains, and we hope that the efforts continue.
Other countries, including the United States, retrieve the remains of service members killed in battle. It is the right thing to do for soldiers who fought for their countries and for families who lost their sons.
As the recent observance of Liberation Day showed us, there are wounds of war that time alone can’t heal. Let’s help war-bereaved families find some comfort in laying their fallen soldiers to rest.