May 2, 2002
The American campaign against the Japanese on Okinawa
still raged when war correspondent Ernie Pyle, new to the
Pacific theater, stepped ashore on Ie Shima, a small island just
west of Okinawa. Traveling with a group of infantrymen, the
reporter was killed by a sniper's bullet. Saddened by their loss,
the soldiers paid tribute to their fallen friend with the simple
wooden memorial pictured (later replaced by a marker stone).