It was on the Fourth of July, 2012, that I made my final visit to Peace Park, a beautiful seaside memorial covering the southern tip of Okinawa. The park and its resident war museum have been established by the Japanese government to pay homage to the thousands of individuals on both sides who gave their lives in the very, very bloody Battle of Okinawa. While I was there I carefully took pictures of every granite panel of a wall containing the names of over 11,000 Americans who died during the battle. My intent is to one day develop a web site with an alphabetical listing of all of those names - so that genealogists and researchers may have access to that roster of war heroes.
Today, in honor of Veteran's Day, I have selected one name at random from the wall of casualties on Okinawa. That individual is Romeo Dye, a private in the United States Marine Corps. The only information about him on the wall is the lad's name: "Dye, Romeo". I have managed to piece together a bit of his family and military history from internet sources.
Private Romeo Napoleon Dye (Service Number: 543919) was born in Walton, West Virginia, on November 4, 1926. He was serving with the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines at the time was killed in action on Okinawa on June 21, 1945, at the age of eighteen. Private Dye posthumously was awarded the Purple Heart, Asiato-Pacific Campaign Medal, Victory Medal WWII, and the Presidential Unit Citation with Ribbon Bar and one Star.
Romeo Dye grew up in the unincorporated community of Left Hand, West Virginia, which is located in Roane County. He was the son of Romeo Napoleon Dye, Sr, and Olive Eveline (Elliott) Dye. He had two brothers, Ross and William.
The sacrifice of Romeo Dye, forfeiting his life in the war effort so that those back home could live out their natural lives in freedom, is a gift whose worth is beyond measure. May he somehow know on this Veteran's Day that he is remembered and honored for his selfless service to a grateful nation.