JAPANESE BUNKER, NORTH SHORE, SAIPAN
There was once a young man more than 1,000 miles from home, sitting behind the rectangular window you see to your upper right, waiting....and waiting, as he kept vigil , constantly peering out over the waves : The waves endlessly lapping at the base of his tiny stone fortress.
Not long before, this man had been relaxing comfortably with relatives and loved ones in his homeland. He knew that he may never see any of them again, and I can only begin to imagine how homesick he was as he sat and sweltered.
Some of the time, he was alone. Sometimes he was with fellows newly arrived. Sometimes with old hands. All knew that few -- perhaps none -- would survive the ordeal about to overtake this tiny island, over 1,000 miles from relatives and loved ones.
There was another young man. Perhaps he was a pilot. Or maybe he was a foot soldier. He was several thousand miles from home, and also missing loved ones and relatives -- whom he knew he may never see again -- as he threw himself headlong and bravely into the carnage which he and his fellow fighters wrought on Japan's "unsinkable aircraft carrier," Saipan. He gave his life in the breaching of this bunker.
Japanese and American. Both committed soldiers. Both willing to give their all for their ideals and their respective countries.
Both mourned by loved ones and relatives. Both now part of the same legacy.
There seem to be spirits in this land: Old enemies now embrace to welcome relatives and loved ones (Japanese and American), encouraging them to walk hand in hand as they descend the trail to watch the waves endlessly lapping at this tiny stone fortress on this tiny island more than 1,000 miles from home.
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