US Veteran Returns Japanese Flag to Fallen Soldier's Family (News)
Higashishirakawa, Gifu Pref., Aug. 15 (Jiji Press)—A US World War II veteran on Tuesday returned a Japanese flag he recovered on the Pacific island of Saipan seven decades ago to the family of the fallen Japanese soldier who owned it.
During the returning ceremony in Higashishirakawa in the central Japan prefecture of Gifu, a teary-eyed Marvin Strombo, a 93-year-old former Marine, handed the flag over to the surviving family of Yasue Sadao, who was from the village and died at 25. He also told them of Yasue's final moments.
Yasue Tatsuya, the 89-year-old brother of the late Yasue, buried his face in the flag, carrying a message wishing long-lasting good luck in battle alongside signatures from some 180 people, when he received it from Strombo.
Strombo apologized for taking a long time to return the flag. Looking back on Yasue's death, he said the Japanese serviceman's body showed no wounds and that he looked as though he was sleeping peacefully.
"I feel it still smells like my brother's skin," Tatsuya said. "Thank you very much for keeping it in the state it was in back then."[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]