Mariana Islands

I cannot believe how long it has taken me to post photos of Tinian and Saipan (of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). 

Tinian is where the United States stored the atomic bombs—Little Boy and Fat Man—that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I saw the cement cradles where the bombs were stored. The pits are encased in glass tombs and have faded black and white photos in their bellies. It was a harrowing experience. It's especially distressing if you see the suicide cliffs (where Japanese civilians were thrown or jumped from to avoid capture by the Americans) before you walk around the military remnants. I say "remnants" loosely because the United States still uses Tinian for training. This island is where I volunteered with the bird conservation group. It was a strange feeling trapping birds on the old airfields that use to house the B-29 bombers from WWII. 

Saipan has beach vacation vibes—gorgeous beaches, diving, sightseeing, museums, etc. It's an interesting hodgepodge of history and recreation. I definitely preferred Tinian to Saipan, although the identities of both islands are similar. Lots of intersections between colonialism in several periods, prehistory, immigration, both World Wars, conservation issues...I'd go back in a heartbeat. 

erica husseyComment