NAHA, Okinawa Pref. – Two gatherings were held Sunday morning by 50 South Koreans and some 30 Americans to honor their compatriots who died in the ground fighting between Japanese and U.S. forces in Okinawa during World War II.
The services at the Peace Memorial Park in Itoman were held on the 57th anniversary of the end of the ground battle.
The South Korean participants offered prayers and flowers while gathering at one of the Cornerstones of Peace that display the names of South Korean battle victims.
The Americans also held a memorial service at the cornerstones inscribed with the names of U.S. soldiers lost in the battle.
In attendance were top commander of the U.S. forces in Okinawa Lt. Gen. Wallace Gregson, representatives from the U.S. Consulate in Okinawa and U.S. war veterans.
Lawrence Alsop, an 82-year-old U.S. veteran living in Okinawa, said that there are no winners in war.
Gregson said that he hopes there will be no more battles like the Okinawa one.
The memorial services by the South Koreans and Americans took place prior to another service organized by the Okinawa Prefectural Government.
On the evening before the ceremonies, about 300 Okinawans attended a service to pray for family members who died in the battle.
The service was held at the Peace Prayer and Memorial Hall in Itoman. Participants offered silent prayers and flowers while relatives of the dead chimed the Bell of Peace seven times.
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