Vote!

Vote!

The 2016 campaign for the presidency of the United States has shaken our democratic political system to its core, but it has also energized the public and tested the boundaries in ways that we can only hope will make our nation stronger down the road. With less than three weeks to go before Election Day, some voters are firmly encamped on one side or another of the presidential race and a remarkable percentage remain undecided. Then there are...

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Wake Reunion 2016

Wake Reunion 2016

The Wake Survivors reunion was held in Boise, Idaho, last weekend, September 9-10, 2016, and a good time was had by all. Leroy Myers was the only survivor in attendance this year, but sixty family members and friends gathered to honor him and remember those who were not with us. Alice Ingham once again organized a wonderful weekend with hospitality room and evening banquet. Alice and her family have made the decision that next year will be the...

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NOAA Okeanos Explorer

NOAA Okeanos Explorer

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is conducting deep sea exploration in and around Wake Island this summer, and the mission has zeroed in on a WWII shipwreck on the ocean floor south of the atoll. The 24-day mission aboard NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer can be followed at the official website, titled “Deepwater Wonders of Wake: Exploring the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.” It is a remarkable resource, featuring...

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One Hero’s Face

One Hero’s Face

Here is a photograph of young Lawton Shank, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism on Wake Island in World War II. The doctor worked steadily and at great risk to care for casualties during the siege and battle in December, 1941, and volunteered to remain on the island with the last 98 American POWs, only to be cut down with them in a blaze of Japanese bullets on October 7, 1943. I wrote about Dr. Shank a couple of years...

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Dead Wake

Dead Wake

No, Wake Island isn’t dead. I know I make a connection to Wake Island in just about every blog post (it turns out that there are generally six or fewer degrees of separation), but this post is about the recent book by Seattle’s Erik Larson: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (Broadway Books, 2015). The skilled narrative non-fiction author of In the Garden of the Beasts and The Devil in the White City turns here to the well-known...

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The Other Palmyra

The Other Palmyra

There are two Palmyras, worlds apart. The ancient city of Palmyra in war-torn Syria has become a target for the systematic destruction of irreplaceable pre-Islamic antiquities by Islamic State militants – a pressing topic for sure; but this post is about the other Palmyra: a tiny tropical atoll in the mid-Pacific. I learned about the atoll while researching and writing Building for War, and it recently came to my attention again when I heard...

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