My fifth day was spent giving three lectures to the bar of Saipan. It was a fascinating day with the judges and lawyers of this beautiful island. Tomorrow Judge Watford and I will be going to Tinian Island where the B-29s took off to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These islands are steeped in the military history of World War II. Having read about the battles for years, it is amazing to be here and walk along the beaches of the invasions. Saipan was also the scene of one of the most horrific moments of the Pacific war when 1,000 Japanese civilians committed suicide by jumping off the cliffs on the Northern part of the island. They believed the propaganda about the Americans and took their lives rather than be captured. It is hard to imagine such horror on an island that is indescribably beautiful and peaceful.
I have been staying at the Hyatt Regency in Saipan, which has a stunning view from the room as well as the grounds near the beach below. The Navy has permanent ships stationed off shore with military equipment and supplies to be used in any rapid deployment (a contingency put into place after the first Iraq War which was delayed for months by the lack of supplies for the invasion).
Here are a few pictures from the scuba diving and hiking over the past couple of days on Guam and Saipan.