A Surprising Fact about Veterans.
Today is not just Veterans day, it is the Birthday of the US Marine Corp! I want to share something different many don’t know about American soldiers. I heard it last night on a new documentary about Iwo Jima. The only surviving Japanese soldier who came to the memorial this year, Tsurji Akikusa, who was saved by a Marine, is interviewed and says: (rough quote from memory) “I don’t think our soldiers would have saved Americans like American soldiers saved me. They would have left them to die. There was something different about the American soldier that makes them truly special – they showed mercy. For that I am grateful.”
I have heard the same story from French families waiting in line at the US cemetery in Normandy, just above Omaha Beach. The US soldier, with rare exceptions, showed human decency. They didn’t pillage the local villages, they didn’t rape the local women like other armies. They were known for their Hershey candy bars they gave to children. We are grateful for their sacrifice. We should be just as grateful for their treatment of people who often didn’t deserve it.
I hear Americans aren’t “exceptional”. I beg to differ. The greatest men who ever walked this planet went to Hell in WWII, and brought not just peace, but a different way of treating people. For that, American Veterans, thank you for keeping my family safe, and thank you for showing the world 70+ years ago that we can choose to love our enemies. I hope we learn that lesson soon from the dying generation of heroes, because I see way too much hate for our fellow man in the current generation of Americans. To my Father in Law, Brother in Law, Grandfather, Uncle, friends, and everyone who has every put on a uniform, Happy Veterans Day!