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Preserve the Crash Site?

The Debate over Whether to Preserve the Wall of the Administration Building as a Memorial

   Controversy is now raging over whether or not to preserve the wall of the OIU Administration Building which was damaged in the US Marine CH-53D helicopter crash.

   Opponents of the preservation proposal contend that the incident was so traumatic for the students, university employees, and local residents who experienced it that leaving the wall in place would only prolong their trauma. In a 26 October 2004 interview with the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper, OIU President Toguchi also stated that he thinks the wall is an eyesore, and that preservation would be gdifficult.h

   The same day, a citizens group called the gAssociation to Preserve the US Military Helicopter Crash Siteh submitted a petition with 237 signatures to the OIU president calling for preservation of the wall. A student group had already submitted a similar proposal to university with over 4000 signatures.

Deep gashes in the charred wall of the OIU Administration Building cut by the rotor blades of the US Marine CH-53D.

  An informal web poll on our No Fly Zone Japanese companion site currently shows 77.9% in favor of preservation, 19.7% opposed, and 2.4% undecided (from a current total of 589 votes). Proponents of the preservation proposal contend that while the trauma experienced by victims of the crash is real, it is the crash which caused the trauma, not the wall. The only way to bring real closure is to stop all military flights permanantly, and shut down the base. Preservation of the wall could make a significant contribution to mobilization of public opinion in favor of early termination of flights, and return of the base. In fact, the site has already become a popular destination for school peace studies excursions. One architect has already submitted a proposal for preservation of the site.

   What do you think of the preservation proposal? We welcome comments from our readers on this (or any other pertinent) topic. Just send your Comments by email to:



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