Sunday, September 3, 2016
Although the temperatures here consistently hot and humid, the air conditioning allowed me to get a few hours of restful sleep.
After breakfast we all went to a local church called ‘ Church 360 ‘, where the pastor gave a sermon on Patience from James 5:7-12. It was a very good sermon on a topic that is relevant to me and we had a good time fellowshipping with the people who attended the service.
After the service, we went to a local café and had lunch together before heading back to the MDS site. We had gone in two cars because there wasn’t enough room in 1 vehicle and when we missed our turnoff to go up the hill, we decided to continue down the road to see what we would find.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at ‘ Suicide Hill ‘, which according to Wikipedia:
‘Suicide Cliff is a cliff above Marpi Point Field near the northern tip of Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, which achieved historic significance late in World War II. Also known as Laderan Banadero, it is a location where hundreds of Japanese civilians and Japanese soldiers committed suicide by jumping to their deaths in 1944 in order to avoid capture by the United States. The precise number of suicides there is not known.’
I took a picture of Suicide Cliff from the Veterans Memorial Cemetary;
We drove up to the top of Suicide Cliff and took some pictures from the view above:
We then drove to Bonzai Cliff which has a similar history to Suicide Cliff and it is situated below Suicide Cliff along the waters edge. According to Wikipedia:
‘Banzai Cliff is a historic site at the northern tip of Saipan island in the Northern Mariana Islands. It was, along with Suicide Cliff further inland, the site of numerous suicides by Japanese civilians and soldiers, towards the end of the Battle of Saipan in 1944. Hundreds jumped to their deaths rather than be captured by the Americans. Some who jumped did not die and were rescued by American ships.’
When we arrived back at our site, the other people were wondering where we had gone and they had guessed correctly.
The rest of the day was a time of relaxation.
2 thoughts on “Saipan – Day 1”
History is always with us Ralf. I know the history of that Pacific war. Amazing for you to be there.
Les. I would never have guessed that I would be out in the middle of the Pacific helping to rebuild homes and getting to know the people and their history. It has been a wonderful experience.