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Help needed at Tomari Cemetery

Date Posted: 2001-09-07

Tomari International Cemetery located downtown Naha city is the final resting place for many of our nations veterans. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9723, the sponsor for the monthly cleanup of Tomari needs the help of the community to keep Tomari presentable.

Kelly F. Anderson, Chairman for Tomari said, Tomari has traditionally been an eye sore in the community, tourist magazines have plainly stated that Tomari maintains an unkept appearance. For the past two years volunteers from the all over Okinawa have spent a couple hours of their time, one day each month helping maintain Tomari. Anderson say's that their are several groups of Americans and Okinawans that come to the cemetery on unscheduled days to cut the grass, rake leaves, and police the cemetery. Tomari Cemetery's history dates back to the late 1700s. Commadore (Commodore) Matthew Perry arrived on Okinawa in 1853, his mission was to open the Japans for trade and commerce. Several of Perry's crew members are buried at Tomari. During World War II the cemetery was virtually destroyed, then later rebuilt by the city of Naha in 1955. Lately very few volunteers have attended the monthly clean up, Anderson believes it's due to the mass rotation of personnel during the summer months. "Help the Living by Caring for The Dead" is the motto used in connection with Tomari. We can not maintain the appearance of Tomari Cemetery without the community's help say"s Anderson, so please load up your lawn mowers, weed eaters and any yard tools and help us! The dates for cleanups are Sept 16 Oct 21, Nov 18 and Dec 16, Arrive at 9:30 AM so Kelly can take you on a tour and tell you the history of Tomari. For more information Telephone Kelly at 899-1851 or e-mail insuranc@momo2000.com

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