11 November 2015

Veterans Day & Our Unique National Character


Last night, I watched Iwo Jima: From Combat to Comrades on my local PBS station. It was excellent and quite moving. In one part of the film, they interviewed a Japanese survivor and, through a translator, he said the following:

I was rescued by an American who showed no animosity towards me. I was his enemy but he saved me. I wonder if a Japanese soldier would have done the same for a wounded American. I don’t think so. I think if the situation were reversed, a Japanese soldier would have left his enemy to die. The American fighting man was unique. There is something about their national character that makes them merciful. . . . I wish to thank them in person. ~ Tsuruji Akikusa, Radioman, Imperial Japanese Army
I would argue that the uniqueness of "the American fighting man" and our national character is part of American Exceptionalism. Very closely related to that character and AE is our Judeo-Christian founding. That Japanese soldier owes his life to not only the American who saved him, but to the culture and heritage that produced that soldier.

I would further argue that the enemies of AE are purposely destroying the character that saved that Japanese soldier. 

"When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." ~ Proverbs 16:7

If case you missed it, you can watch the complete episode here

9 comments:

Ralph Steel said...

I just want to pose a question here. What about AE explains why the Japanese soldier was treated with merci but not the American Indian of 75 - 100 years before?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Good question Ralph. History is complicated. I'd recommend asking someone who is an expert on Sherman, Sheridan and Custer - those 3 have something in common.

Ralph Steel said...

Why those three when Nimitz and MacArthur are not under question concerning the Japanese soldier. Many horrible things were done to Japanese soldiers during those fights as well.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"Many horrible things were done to Japanese soldiers during those fights as well."

No doubt Ralph. War is hell, but the original point stands.

Ralph Steel said...

No you just want to push that crap that's called AE...

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

AE, properly understood, is simply a manifestation of Western ideals and civilization - which is what you and other "enemies of AE" really have a problem with.

Ralph Steel said...

AE ignores the problems that come with understanding only the "good" of western ideals civilization and not taking other influences into consideration.

I am not an enemy of AE, I just think we should tell the whole story not just the exceptional parts.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"AE ignores the problems that come with understanding only the "good" of western ideals civilization and not taking other influences into consideration."

Pure myth and agenda-driven nonsense.

"Gone is the idea that history should provide a fund of compelling stories about exemplary people and events. No longer will students hear about America as a dynamic and exemplary nation, flawed in many respects, but whose citizens have striven through the years toward the more perfect realization of its professed ideals." ~ Gordon S. Wood

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

You missed the "properly understood" part of my earlier comment. You lack a proper and more sophisticated understanding of American Exceptionalism.