CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Okinawa USO Council is sponsoring a memorial ceremony at Peace Memorial Park in Mabuni in memory of the 14,007 Americans killed during the Battle of Okinawa.

The ceremony will be held June 23 at the black granite walls comprising the Cornerstone of Peace. The annual Okinawa Prefecture’s Memorial Day Ceremony at the park will follow.

Thousands of Okinawans and people from Japan’s mainland attend the memorial each year. June 23 marks the official end of the 82-day battle, the last major ground battle of World War II.

The Cornerstone of Peace bears the names of 240,609 people of all countries killed during the battle. The names include more than 150,000 Okinawa civilians, about a third of the island’s population at the time.

This year, 235 names have been added to the walls, which are arranged like wings stretching to the sea. They include 64 Okinawans, five Koreans and 166 mainland Japanese including 76 Kamikaze pilots.

The prefectural government places ads each year in South Korean newspapers asking for the names of any laborer who may have been killed during the battle.

The USO bus will depart from the American Legion parking lot at 8 a.m. and pick up passengers at Building 107 on Camp Kinser at 8:20. The bus will make another stop at the United Seaman’s Service building in Naha at 8:40 a.m.

The American Community Memorial Service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Following that ceremony, the group will walk to the tent area for the Okinawa Prefectural Ceremony, which begins at 11:50 a.m.

Americans may wear Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and other organizational caps at the American ceremony, but the prefecture has asked they not be worn during the Okinawan ceremony, said USO spokeswoman Patty Juliuson.

People wishing to take the USO bus to the memorial should contact Juliuson at DSN 645-2662 or commercial 970-2662 by June 20.

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