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Okinawa Prefecture art exhibition memorializing victims of the June 30, 1959 U.S. military jet crash into Miyamori Elementary School

This week, Okinawa Prefecture Office in Naha City is exhibiting the memorial art created by surviving teachers and parents who lost children in the June 30 1959 U.S. military jet crash into the Miyamori Elementary School.

A US Air Force F-100 Super Sabre on a training flight from Kadena Air Base crashed into Miyamori Elementary School and the surrounding neighborhood. Eleven children and six adults in the neighborhood were killed. 210 other people, including 156 school children, were injured. The pilot ejected, unhurt.

One of the teachers at the exhibition said he and other survivors tried to to forget the crash, which took place during the U.S. military occupation of Okinawa, but painful memories flooded back when a military helicopter from U.S. Marine Air Station crashed at Okinawa international University in 2004. Concerned that the U.S. military would continue crashing aircraft in Okinawa, the Miyamori Elementary School victims thought it was their duty to share their experience with others.

The teacher concluded, “Okinawa is still a colonized island, we are colonized. The war is not ended.”

More photos from the exhibition are posted here.