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Could you sit in the same room as your former enemy?

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  • Could you sit in the same room as your former enemy?

    I had the privilege to attend the 65th Anniversary/Seminar of the December 7th attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. At one point during the 3-day event, several surviving Japanese airmen were scheduled to appear and speak (mainly through translators). As someone who hadn't lived through the war, I was spell-bound to actually see people that had participated in the historic events that I had studied most of my life. But, as I looked around the room I noticed that the large majority of American World War II veterans had found something better to do, and the place had alot of newly emptied chairs. It started me thinking. Could I stay in a room with men who had killed my friends and had tried to kill me, or could I forgive and forget? Could you?
    Last edited by sherlock; 11 Jun 10, 19:29.
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then I want to go where they went when they died-Will Rogers

  • #2
    I guess it is a personal choice based on individual experience. I do not have that experience so would have no clue to what my reaction might have been. It does appear that many former combatants have forgiven the enemy as individual soldiers and do share experiences.
    Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

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    • #3
      It depends on which one

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      • #4
        I have to Agree with Sal. I have no experience, and each person is different and will treat this differently.

        I think i remember a member here tell a story (please tell if its slightly different) - At a Vietnam Reunion there was a Vietnam and an American Veteran, The Vietnamese man said "I had killed alot of Americans in the war" The American Replied "I Killed alot of Vietnam Soldiers" They then embraced (believe it was a handshake and a back pat) and they continued to enjoy the celebration.

        They were all individuals in the conflict, each their own man.
        God didn’t create evil. Evil is the result of when man does not have God's love in his heart.It's the cold when there is no heat.The darkness that comes when there is no light

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        • #5
          What gives America! I try-ed to view the link Miss saigon place on here,it quoted this:" This video contains content from ESPN,who has blocked it in you're country on copy right grounds,so only American veiwers can view it.

          I guessing it will only effect the Americans that actually fought against the Japanese forces more so than the Americans that fought in Europe against Germans/Italians.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Heidi View Post
            What gives America! I try-ed to view the link Miss saigon place on here,it quoted this:" This video contains content from ESPN,who has blocked it in you're country on copy right grounds,so only American veiwers can view it.
            .
            It is just a promotion for the UK v USA world cup match tomorrow.

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            • #7
              It's a thing of personality. Hundreds, thousands even millions were involved in WW2.

              I have yet to experience any form or source of hate, I could maintain for any length of time. I have also met people that can't stop hating. I even have a well known fan club, and these losers make a point of continuing to hate me all for no good reason.

              No I am not hating them back merely by mentioning them. I am just acknowledging their dislike of me. And when you consider the things they say about me, that in some cases I could bring charges in a court room for.

              But it's just too much effort to hate them back.

              Some people go through life hating, and some don't.

              If you killed my family, the next day I would seek your death with 100% of every fibre of my being. I am not sure I could feel as much hate 10 years later, or 50 years later. That is not to say I would forgive. But I might fail to keep on hating.
              Life is change. Built models for decades.
              Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
              I didn't for a long time either.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sherlock View Post
                I had the privilege to attend the 65th Anniversary/Seminar of the December 7th attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. At one point during the 3-day event, several surviving Japanese airmen were scheduled to appear and speak (mainly through translators). As someone who hadn't lived through the war, I was spell-bound to actually see people that had participated in the historic events that I had studied most of my life. But, as I looked around the room I noticed that the large majority of American World War II veterans had found something better to do, and the place had alot of newly emptied chairs. It started me thinking. Could I stay in a room with men who had killed my friends and had tried to kill me, or could I forgive and forget? Could you?
                Maybe and no.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by les Brains View Post
                  It's a thing of personality. Hundreds, thousands even millions were involved in WW2.

                  I have yet to experience any form or source of hate, I could maintain for any length of time. I have also met people that can't stop hating. I even have a well known fan club, and these losers make a point of continuing to hate me all for no good reason.

                  No I am not hating them back merely by mentioning them. I am just acknowledging their dislike of me. And when you consider the things they say about me, that in some cases I could bring charges in a court room for.

                  But it's just too much effort to hate them back.

                  Some people go through life hating, and some don't.

                  If you killed my family, the next day I would seek your death with 100% of every fibre of my being. I am not sure I could feel as much hate 10 years later, or 50 years later. That is not to say I would forgive. But I might fail to keep on hating.
                  Maybe but a good hate can last a lifetime.

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                  • #10

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                    • #11
                      When I was a teenager I was involved with a community group that included two gents. One was a German U-boat commander in WWII and the other worked on a British destroyer. They seemed to have no problems and I am told sometimes exchanged experiences of WWII.

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                      • #12
                        Pearl Harbor has a special place in history. We were not at war.

                        I can understand that US survivors have a deep seated animosity.

                        I think I would have reacted much the same.
                        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                        • #13
                          You also have to consider the intensity and savagery of the conflict in the Pacific as compared to the European theatre (in terms of the Western Allies experience, the Soviet - German conflict was every bit as intense). There were certain written and un-written rules that were simply not observed by the Japanese, especially in relation the PoW's.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                            Pearl Harbor has a special place in history. We were not at war.

                            I can understand that US survivors have a deep seated animosity.

                            I think I would have reacted much the same.
                            My parents visited Pearl Harbour in the early 80's and, as part of a tour group, walked around to see the place. The guide was a man that served there in 1941 and the group included some Japanese tourists that the guide pretty much ignored unless he had no choice.

                            At one point one of the Japanese asked where the USS Arizona was and the guide replied:

                            "Right where you @#$%ing left it" and he wouldn't talk to them after that.

                            I can't say I blame him.
                            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                            That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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                            • #15
                              In my time I have met many Germans, married one,my late father in law was SS Sgt Mjr, brother in law was Kreigsmarine, have attended Air Force exchanges and Luftwaffe reunions, Kreigsmarine reunions and never had any trouble from guys who have actually seen combat......most bs comes from people who have never seen the elephant.

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