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July15, 2009

Vol. 109, No. 16

The battle for Tarawa

In response to: Issue in doubt

Thanks to PAW and to Michael Goldstein ’78 for his article (cover story, May 13) on the search for the remains of Alexander Bonnyman ’32, lost in battle on Tarawa atoll in 1943. It’s a saddening testament to the senseless futility of war that so many men died fighting over such a tiny and insignificant spit of land. I was reminded again that if my father, an Army colonel (West Point ’28), had gone to war a little sooner and had not survived, I would not be here.

Perhaps the most fitting commemoration of the great loss that was Tarawa would be to establish a joint American-Japanese commission to try together to locate the dead from both armies, to bring the families of both the survivors and the dead together, and to create a simple, common memorial to all of the fallen there. Attention must be paid.

Kenneth E. Scudder ’63
San Francisco, Calif.

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