"Former enemies, now friends" : WWII Vets reunite with Japanese soldiers

"An Oregon couple is providing closure to the descendants of Japanese soldiers killed in World War II by repatriating the "good luck" flags they carried into battle, which were acquired by American GIs. Lee Cowan talks to veterans and their families about a respectful and emotional return - and of a bond born of war and strengthened in peace" (via).

At age 95, Bud still doesn't take lightly. "I provided all the ammunition that killed all these folks. And I'm not exactly, totally happy that I did that. But at the time, that was my job. I couldn't question that.
Why is it important to return the flags now?
"It's a closer. You can't keep hating people."


"It wasn't some souvenir. It was their father come home."


This generation will soon be gone, and so will their stories, their lessons, and their pain. The oldest living WWII Vet is 109 years old. WWII wasn't good, but they had to go. And, more times then often, they represent the best of us. 

World War II veterans visited Iwo Jima for the 70th anniversary of one most iconic battles of World War II, March 21, 2015.

I recently passed a man in a local grocery store who was wearing a "WW II Veteran" hat. I walked past, in the traditional silence I pass most people in a grocery store. Later, I wish I had said stopped him and said, "thank you." Watching films like this affirms the need to do this in the future. To say thank you for going, thank you for shouldering the burden of coming home, and thank you for loving us all - the many men and women whom you'll never know - so much.

Our lives, our freedoms, are because of you. 

Thank you. 


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