A FEW steps behind the Flag Circle at the Court of Honor of American Memorial Park in Garapan is a wide marble tablet which I have always seen before but have not given it any particular notice, until last week when I had time on my hands and I was at the area.
After covering the solemn ceremony of the Veteran’s Day at the Court of Honor, I ventured near the wharf area to cool off and noticed with news eyes this monument that I had no idea played a very big role marking the end of the bloodiest battle in the Pacific.
Stepping on the tiled cement, I approached the tablets and read for the first time what was written there.
The middle tablet bears the following inscription:
PEACE AT LAST. At 6:35 August 15. 1945, the Commander in chief of the US Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas Admiral Chester W. Nimitz ordered all offensive action against the Japanese to cease. All the guns of war fell silent. The long post war process of healing, reconstruction and the building of a basis for mutual trust and lasting peace began. The signing of the peace treaty between Japan, the United States and the Allied Powers on September 8, 1951 at the San Francisco Peace Conference formally brought World War 11 to a close.
Flanking the middle tablet were two tablets signed by US President Harry S. Truman and Japan Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida attesting to their desire for peace and reconciliation.
Joggers and bikers around the area usually pass by without paying attention to this marble tablet, or maybe they already know it is there and thinks no big deal of it.
Here is something that the present and the future generations must continue to be aware of. The tablet is just a piece of marble, yet it is an instrument announcing to the world that although the scars of the war will always be there peace was finally attained. It signifies an end to tragedy, to a war that claimed thousands of both US and Japanese soldiers and civilians, and left thousands more of families homeless.
If you’ve got some free time, try to visit American Memorial Park’s Peace Memorial. It is one place that a lot of people from different parts of the world would give a lot for just to visit this monument of peace. It is right within your reach.