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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

On 20 August 2012, United States Senator Lisa Murkowski and Coast Guard Rear Admiral Thomas Ostebo dedicated a memorial commemorating the seventieth anniversary of the invasion of Attu. This westernmost and largest island in the Aleutian chain is closer to Japan than mainland Alaska. Attu is a small windswept island that is less than three hundred miles from the International Date Line. Today, it is home to a few Coast Guard personnel but in 1943 it was the site of a bloody battle that claimed over five hundred American and more than two thousand four hundred Japanese lives. It was the first invasion of the United States since the War of 1812 and the only invasion of North America in the Second World War; however, this battle is virtually unknown outside the State of Alaska and is often left out of the history books.

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