Don't drop bombs in my backyard!

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    Lee Arbach TBP

    The small Pacific islands of Pagan and Tinian are home to pristine beaches, majestic mountains and colorful sea life. They are also home to 2,800 American citizens, as they are part of the Marianas, a US territory. The US Navy has plans to bomb these islands as part of a training exercise, obliterating their rare coral ecosystems, wildlife, and important historic artifacts. The islands’ residents would be relocated, kicked off their ancestral land for the sake of bomb testing. We cannot let this happen.

    Residents of Pagan and Tinian have always had the fighting spirit. In World War II, the islands were taken over as a base of operations by both sides, but the islanders held onto their land. In 1981, a volcano forced a total evacuation of Pagan. But the residents did what they had to do to get back, because these islands are our home, the only home we’ve ever known. Now, the US military wants our islands to play war games with our home.

    We need the Secretary of Navy to cancel plans for Combined Joint Military Training exercises on Tinian and Pagan Islands.

    The bombings would restrict the use of two-thirds of my island of Tinian, leaving only 10 square miles for its people, and rare and endangered wildlife. On the island of Pagan, the Navy wants to relocate the entire indigenous population so that they may bomb 100% of the island. Our pristine beaches would become theaters for elaborate live-ammunition military exercises, and our people’s traditions and culture would be all but extinguished.

    The residents of Tinian and Pagan are citizens of the United States, just like you. But since we are so far from the mainland and have no representation in Congress, our voices are often not heard. Now, we are crying out to make sure our homes are not demolished, and our 4,000 years of history are not lost forever.

    We only have one home. We can’t let it be destroyed. Please join us in asking the Secretary of Navy to cancel his plans to bomb Tinian and Pagan.

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