I open the new National Geographic on “The Last Voices of World War II” to a page where one survivor shares his story.

Nobuo Nishizaki, a Japanese veteran says, “We were sent to DIE FOR THE EMPEROR AND IMPERIAL NATION, and everyone acted like we believed in it. But when the soldiers were dying, the young ones CALLED OUT TO THEIR MOTHERS and older ones called out their CHILDREN’S NAMES. I never heard anyone calling the emperor and nation.”

When he left home for the navy in 1942, he was 15.  His mother ordered him, “You must survive and come back.”  Her words carried him through many battles and a suicide mission at Okinawa. He did return to her.

Perhaps now as we see a virus run through us all, we can release nationalism and come to peace.


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