Roll on, Columbia

Roll on, Columbia

The mighty Columbia River flows 1,200 miles from its source in British Columbia to its terminus at the Pacific Ocean. The river’s strength lies in its volume and rapid descent, fed by countless tributaries and falling 2,600 feet along its course. Humans have drawn on its vast resources for at least twelve thousand years. White settlement and rapid regional development in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries drastically altered the...

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Women of Wake

Women of Wake

A few weeks ago my good friend and Wake Brother, Floyd Forsberg, sent me a large box containing hundreds of photocopies of Wake-related records that his mother had saved during World War II. Ruth Forsberg was an officer in the Los Angeles-area wartime organization, “Women of Wake,” and retained the group’s minutes, correspondence, and other documents. Recently Floyd took on the daunting effort of organizing and photocopying the records...

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Bikini

Bikini

Bikini: a word that is ubiquitous in modern culture and carries an immediate visual image. Few people conjure up alternate images of the isolated Pacific atoll or the atomic bombs that rendered it unfit for human habitation decades ago. Shortly after WWII ended, the United States chose Bikini Atoll to test nuclear weapons and relocated its residents, promising their safe return after testing was complete. Seventy-plus years later Bikini is...

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2017 Reunion photos

2017 Reunion photos

Here are some photos from the final Wake Island Reunion in Boise, September 8-9, 2017. Many thanks to Pati Bradstreet and Polli Buzzini (Alice’s daughters), Seth Randal (creator of the documentary film “Workers of Wake”), Terry and Karla Barnes (grandson of Robert “Tex” Lancaster), and Ron Olson (my brother and the son of Ted Olson) for these photos. I will add more as they come...

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Final Wake Reunion 2017

Final Wake Reunion 2017

The final reunion of the Wake Survivors’ group was held on September 8-9, 2017, in Boise, Idaho, more than seven decades after the just-liberated survivors first met in Boise in December 1945. When the “Survivors of Wake, Guam, and Cavite” officially disbanded in 2003, Alice Ingham volunteered to keep the group connected. For thirteen years she wrote newsletters, held local coffees and luncheons, managed the growing memorabilia...

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