This week, as we reflect upon the tremendous sacrifices made by our forefathers 73 years ago on the beaches of Normandy, I’d like to share with you the recent experience Jim and I had visiting similar sites of steadfast American courage and commitment in the Pacific.
Jim and I just returned from Japan and Korea, where we walked across the hallowed ground of Okinawa and visited the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas. Both places were scenes of horrific violence. The casualties suffered by US Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines on the island of Okinawa in the spring of 1945 ultimately drove President Truman to the decision to use atomic weapons instead of risking further loss of life in an attack on the Japanese home islands. In Korea, more than 35,000 Americans gave their lives between 1950 and 1953, in a war that to this day has not been resolved.
We were in Asia to meet with US Army, Marine, and Special Operations forces tasked with strengthening alliances and preventing conflict on the Korean Peninsula. In a time of heightened tensions throughout the region, where threats emanate from a volatile North Korea as well as revisionist powers such as China and Russia, these missions are critical. The partnerships we forge and the leadership and commitment we demonstrate as a nation to global peace and security are vital, both for our interests as well as for the greater good.
And, we owe it to our men and women serving abroad to provide them with all the resources our nation has to offer – public and private – for their safety and success as well as for greater regional stability. In walking the ground for which so much has been sacrificed in both Okinawa and Korea, this point has never been clearer.
Stay tuned as we continue to develop initiatives in support of US security and stability objectives in Asia. And, follow us this month as the SoA team deploys to the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Africa, working with US troops and diplomats to solve tough problems and ease suffering. As always, should you have questions about our work, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Chief Operating Officer