A total of 932 Chamorros and Carolinians perished during World War II battles and skirmishes on the islands of Saipan and Tinian, with the Northern Marianas caught between the U.S. and Japanese crossfire. The names of all 932 individuals are now inscribed at the Marianas Memorial of the American Memorial Park, according to the proclamation that Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios signed it yesterday.
The proclamation celebrates the 75th anniversary of the battles of Saipan and Tinian during World War II.
“…More than 3,000 U.S. Marines, sailors, soldiers, and Coast Guardsmen gave their lives for the freedom that we have today, and are honored at the Court of Honor at American Memorial Park,” the proclamation noted.
The proclamation declares June 10, 2019, to June 17, 2019, as Commemoration Week, with the CNMI marking the 75th anniversary of World War II.
“The Battle of Saipan and the Battle of Tinian were pivotal moments that helped shape world history,” the proclamation noted. “…The Marianas became a key strategic location to allow U.S. B-29 bombers striking distance to the Japanese mainland that eventually ended the war.”
“Today is an important, monumental day acknowledging the 75th anniversary [of the WWII battles on Saipan and Tinian],” Torres said in a statement. “To [military families], we have American Memorial Park…You should take time to bring your family there, especially if you have [military loved ones] and look at the monument, which reflects the freedom that we have today,” Torres added.
Palacios noted that sacrifices, both American and Japanese, were what makes the Commonwealth the place it is today.
“…World War II saved the world we live in today in the Commonwealth. A lot of sacrifices were made; soldiers died [while] local people died in the crossfire,” he said. “We enjoy the lives we have today, the world we have today, the freedoms we have today, and the basic betterment of life as a human being because people sacrificed for us,” he added.