Exactly one year ago today, I arrived on the island of Tinian to work on a story about militarization of the Northern Mariana Islands. Once a major military hub for both the Japanese and the US during WWII, Tinian now rests in a state of apprehensive tranquility. The remnants of that war can be seen all throughout this small island (39 sq. miles), and heard in the stories of the elders here. Caught in a battle between two dueling superpowers, the people of the Pacific had little choice but to stay safe, practice patience, and remain faithful that one day they would be able to have a peaceful island life again.
Today, it seems more important than ever for us to remember what these scars of war look and feel like for the people of the Pacific. And to remind the world that there are people here who call these islands “home”, people who have buried countless family members in the ground from the last conflict, and are fearful of the consequences that may arise from hot-headed world leaders with egos larger than their conscience.