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Memorial Day Part I – In My Time of Dying.

May 29, 2011

We have, a result of sterilized lectures, a sanitized version of WWII.

The reality is a million miles away from classrooms.

Make no mistake of this – Guam was a US territory as of 1898, and unlike Pearl Harbor – it fell to the Japanese.

The occupying forces needed to reinforce the island – and did so with terrifying efficiency.

Either you worked to reinforce the island…or you starved.  Some did both.

These were Americans, pure and simple – Americans by birth, forced to build defenses for a occupying empire.  The defense preferred by the occupying army was to entrench themselves into the local geography:

Look closely – that’s a machine gun nest.  Other refuges are less obvious.  Imagine having to enter one of these tunnels to root out your adversary…How many rounds do you have in your clip? The War in the Pacific became a game of logistics – could we out-produce our adversaries?  In the meantime – could we send enough farm boys from Iowa to man our equipment?  Would they overcome our adversaries defenses?

Yes.  This is a moot point 67 years later.  At the same time – this seminal event was up close and personal for Americans halfway around the world.  American parents died digging tunnels for the Japanese; it’s no coincidence enlistment is highest for the people of Guam – a direct result of the events over three generations ago.

Remember this on the day of memory.  For the people of Guam – it was a time of dying.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 29, 2011 5:51 pm

    A powerful message which should be heard across the land. Nice pictures too.

  2. dangerboyandpixie permalink*
    May 29, 2011 6:19 pm

    Glad you liked it. Will tie Key West and Guam together on the next post.

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