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Cultures of CommemorationThe Politics of War, Memory, and History in the Mariana Islands$
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Keith L. Camacho

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835460

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835460.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 26 October 2021

The Land without Heroes

The Land without Heroes

(p.110) Chapter 5 The Land without Heroes
Cultures of Commemoration

Keith L. Camacho

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the historical development of Liberation Day in the Northern Mariana Islands, along with the various commemorations created by Americans and Japanese in a place dubbed “the land without heroes.” Liberation Day, celebrates not the invasion of American military forces on June 15, 1944, but the release of civilians from Camp Susupe, Saipan, where Chamorro and Refaluwasch families lived under the rules of the American military government. Unlike celebrations of American liberation in Guam, most reminders of the war in the Northern Mariana Islands invoke feelings of apathy and loss. This chapter first recounts the “liberation” of Camp Susupe before considering how several Chamorros from Saipan sought to impart a sense of cohesiveness and certainty in terms of indigenous perceptions of war, memory, and history. It also discusses attempts to express Chamorro loyalty to America, the Chamorros' cold reception of some American veterans in the Northern Mariana Islands, and the making of the American Memorial Park in Garapan.

Keywords:   commemoration, Liberation Day, Northern Mariana Islands, Camp Susupe, Refaluwasch, liberation, Chamorros, loyalty, American veterans, American Memorial Park

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