Plunge Pontificates

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Kudos to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will leave for Saipan on Monday afternoon on their first overseas trip dedicated to offering condolences to victims of World War II.

During their two-day visit to the West Pacific island, which comes in the 60th year after the end of the war, the emperor, 71, and empress, 70, will visit several war memorials to pray for the souls of those who died in the Battle of Saipan in 1944.

Things like this give me hope. What a wonderful example for other Japanese to follow.

On Tuesday, the emperor and empress are scheduled to visit the Monument of the War Dead in the Mid-Pacific to offer condolences to war victims of all nationalities. The war memorial, which contains victims' belongings, was built in 1974 by the Japanese and local governments.

At American Memorial Park, the emperor and empress will lay flowers at monuments built in memory of islanders and American soldiers who lost their lives.

The couple will also visit two cliffs from which hundreds of Japanese soldiers and civilians jumped to their deaths after refusing to surrender. One of these cliffs is now known as Banzai Cliff, after the cry "long live the emperor" that the soldiers shouted before throwing themselves over the edge.

The Emperor and Empress to me seem to embody the attitude I wish others, especially those in the government, would show. The truly seem to feel for ALL those that perished. Again, kudos and well wishes for continued health and long life to this example of humanity.