Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Name Change

I saw this article this morning, and since my father and my uncles all fought in World War II, it caught my eye. My father was stationed in Belgium and in France, but three of his brothers were in the Navy, and I grew up hearing the stories of what they always referred to as "the War in the Pacific." Iwo Jima was always part of that history, although none of them actually served there.

Now, I find out something I never knew; that "Iwo Jima" was known to those who lived there before the battle by another name: Iwo To. Apparently, in Japanese, the two names sound the same and mean the same thing. Those who lived there want the island restored to its original name.

It is a small piece of our world, and a large part of our history. I have mixed feelings. I know that those of my parents' generation, who remember World War II must feel even more strongly about this place and this name. Interestingly, as the article points out, even some Japanese have mixed feelings about this.

I wonder what you think?

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