Last year I watched the Hanks / Spielberg mini-series “The Pacific” that was based on the experiences of American Marines in the Pacific Theater. The series focused on three men, one of which was Eugene B. Sledge, a young Marine who witnessed the horrors of Peleliu and Okinawa. These secret notes Sledge made during combat would later become the book “With the Old Breed” which was then adapted to become the mini-series “The Pacific.”
I just started Sledge’s book. I’m not sure it’s going to be one I enjoy, and I should probably avoid reading it before going to bed. It is however an important account of war, particularly for those who have connections with Okinawa. Glancing through the pages I see maps with names I recognize. The Ishikawa Isthmus is where I live, Sugar Loaf Hill is beside Main Place shopping center and the landing beaches are where I dive. The elderly residents of this island lived through the Battle of Okinawa, for the rest of us its important to be aware of what happened, and hope nothing like it ever happens again.