On June 23, United States Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy attended Irei no Hi commemorations for those killed during the Battle of Okinawa. During the main commemoration, sponsored by the Okinawa Prefectural Government, the Ambassador laid flowers in honor of Okinawans killed during the battle. Earlier, the Ambassador made a statement at the United Service Organization (USO) ceremony, also held in the Peace Park. The following are excerpts from her remarks:
“Today, we remember the hundreds of thousands of souls who lost their lives in this terrible battle, which devastated this beautiful island and its communities.
“The strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance today is a tribute to all of them. Built on the devastation of war by countless acts of courage, reconciliation, perseverance, and friendship, our two countries work together to ensure peace and prosperity around the world. Visiting this place, on this day, we renew our commitment to that cause.”