Monday, 16 February 2015

Banzai Cliff and Suicide Cliff, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands

I only used to have one postcard from Northern Mariana Islands in my collection so I was really happy when I managed to squeeze into this group in the 'vacation RR' on the Postcrossing forum yeah, I was really happy to receive this postcard but I do think the choice of image is a little morbid. This is an aerial view showing both Banzai Cliff on the coastline and Suicide Cliff on the interior of Saipan. At these sites hundreds of civilians and soldiers committed suicide by jumping over the cliffs. Why would you want to put that on a postcard??

The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, is one of the five inhabited U.S. territories (the other four are Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa). It is one of two territories with "Commonwealth" status; the other is Puerto Rico. It consists of fifteen islands in the western Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines. The United States Census Bureau reports the total land area of all islands as 475.26 km2. As of the 2010 census, the Northern Mariana Islands had a population of 53,883, of whom over 90% live on the island of Saipan. Of the 14 other islands, only two – Tinian and Rota – are permanently inhabited.

The Commonwealth's center of government is in the village of Capitol Hill on Saipan. As the island is governed as a single municipality, most publications name Saipan as the Commonwealth's capital.

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