Saturday, February 27, 2010

Peace Prayer Park

Living on Okinawa, I sometimes forget that this island is more than just pretty beaches and yummy foreign food. It also has an incredible history, being that the Battle of Okinawa was fought here during World War II. In fact, it was the ending battle to the whole war. Many Japanese natives during that time committed suicide by jumping off the high cliffs into the Pacific Ocean in order to avoid being tortured and killed. Beside all of the Americans and Japanese that lost their lives in the battle, these innocent people taking their lives was one of the great tragedies of the war. Doing some research on the battle, I learned that, "The 'Typhoon of Steel' that lasted for ninety days disfigured mountains, destroyed much of the cultural legacy, and claimed the precious lives of upward of 200,000 people". Wow! Today, a memorial called Peace Prayer Park is located right on that cliff-side where so many lost their lives. The park, which is home to the Peace Museum as well as many beautiful gardens and monuments, overlooks the turquoise blue Pacific Ocean and is dedicated to peace.

Its been raining so much here lately, but last weekend, we finally had a sunny day and decided to take advantage of it and visit the park. Peaceful was truly the best word to describe it - perfectly landscaped lawns with rows of flowers and Bonsai trees, people having picnics while kids flew kites on large lawns that stretched out in front of towering monuments dedicated to those who lost their lives... They even had rows and rows of stone walls, covered in the names of Japanese and Americans who were killed in the war. It was definitely a serene and memorable place - we will have to go back sometime and visit the museum as well.

Matt at the entrance to the park

One of the monuments

Peace Hall

Beautiful pathway through the park

Pretty river with the Peace Museum in the background


Rows of stone walls with names to remember the lost

The Cornerstone of Peace - this was erected to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa and WWII. It is a place to remember those who lost their lives as well as to pray for world peace.

The Flame of Peace fountain

It was right on the edge of the cliffs

Gorgeous view of the ocean

After visiting the Peace Park, we explored down by the cliffs a little more:

A bunch of cool waterfalls

Thanks for following & thank you everyone for all of your thoughts and prayers during our earthquake and tsunami warnings over the weekend - we are truely blessed with amazing family and friends!


No comments:

Post a Comment