On top of Tinian’s suicide cliff

My periodic visits to the island of Tinian are always done is a hurry, with no spare time to go around. But not last month because I had a full day to spare and the pleasant company of Rep. Edwin Aldan who volunteered to drive me and my two buddies to visit the historical sites of the island.

Photo by Raquel C. Bagnol

We headed to the southern part and the first place we visited simply took my breath away—the Suicide Cliffs of Tinian. I’ve seen these cliffs from a distance one time when I broke one of the regulations and went out to the deck of the ferry but standing 180 feet above sea level right on top of the cliffs is a different story.
Here a glorious panorama stretches before your eyes—waves rolling on the clearest and the bluest of waters you can imagine, with the cliffs on the side forming a barrier like a protection cove.
Even if I don’t have acrophobia, I can’t stop the tingling feeling in my stomach when I leaned over the cement structure designed as a small lookout. The churning waters below looked hypnotizing yet dangerous. The lookout is just fantastic, the reality of a photographer’s dream.
This is one place you wouldn’t dream of associating with anything unpleasant like death and I wished I didn’t have an idea that from the very place we were standing on, thousands of Japanese committed suicide and jumped to their deaths during the World War 11 in 1944. They considered death a better option than to surrender to the Americans.
The thought alone gave me the shivers although it was broad daylight. I wonder how it would feel to visit the place at night. The place was deserted, but our host told us lots of tourists come to visit the place where they lost their ancestors.

This article was originally published HERE


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