UNANGAX INTERNMENT

Courtesy of the Lekanoff Family

The friends and family of Nicholai Lekanoff are gathering Wednesday to celebrate the life of the noted Unangax̂ elder and church leader, who died last week at age 93.

Lekanoff was born in Makushin in 1925 and later moved to Unalaska with his family.

He was an altar boy in his youth and served throughout his life at the Holy Ascension Cathedral, where he became the Starosta and was known for his skill in ringing the church bells.

Lisa Hupp/USFWS

 

It’s been 75 years since thousands of young soldiers lost their lives fighting over the westernmost point of the United States. Seventy-five years since the Alaska Native people of Attu were taken from their homes never to return again.

 

This weekend, former Attu residents, as well as veterans of the Aleutian campaign and descendants of the Japanese soldiers joined together to commemorate the tragedy and honor the legacy of those lost.

 

 

Berett Wilber/KUCB

The Aleutian Islands served as the battleground for some of the bloodiest conflicts on American soil since the Civil War. But most people have never heard of the Battle of Attu, the invasion of Kiska, or even the Aleutian campaign.

Tadashi Ogawa wants to change that.

The Japanese filmmaker has produced a new documentary on World War II.

Growing up in Yokohama, Tadashi Ogawa learned a bit about the Battle of Attu in school because more than 2,300 Japanese soldiers lost their lives.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

This week, we’re sharing stories from the Battle of Attu and the greater Aleutian campaign of World War II.

The conflict ended in the 1940s, but its legacy is still very much alive — both for the veterans who served and the Unangan people who were forced to leave during the fighting.

Even now, many vets have never spoken to an evacuee, and vice versa.

To commemorate what happened 75 years ago, KUCB invited people on both sides to sit down and reflect together.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

This week, we’re sharing stories from the Battle of Attu and the greater Aleutian campaign of World War II.

The conflict ended in the 1940s, but its legacy is still very much alive — both for the veterans who served and the Unangan people who were forced to leave during the fighting.

Even now, many vets have never spoken to an evacuee, and vice versa.

To commemorate what happened 75 years ago, KUCB invited people on both sides to sit down and reflect together.

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