Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Dear Unknown Japanese Soldier,

I know, it has been about 75 years since that day. Long time, huh? Well, I don't know if you are still alive, but I just wanted to let you know about a few things.

You were the one who shot and killed my grandfather. A man I never had the chance to meet. Were you also the one who pushed his body into that deep well along with countless other men and women you massacred? 

Did you know that the man you killed had a pregnant wife at home and 4 young daughters all under the age of 10 who were too young to understand why there was a war?

Did you know that my grandfather had a very good singing voice and was the lead singer in the church choir?

What did he do to hurt you? All those men and women you rounded up in the town plaza, giving them false hopes of peace and free rice? And what did you do? You mercilessly gunned them all down. Why?

My grandfather worked hard to raise his daughters, hoping to give them a bright future. With your bullet, you put an end to his dreams.

My poor grandfather did not live long enough to even see his youngest daughter. You robbed my mother and my aunts the chance to grow up with a father to guide and protect them. 

Don't you have a father yourself? How much hate did you have in your heart when you did this? I cannot understand your lust of bloodshed. What made you so evil? I want to know. But it is too late now. Way too late to know the truth.

We only have one photo of my grandfather. 

ONE. 

In the photo, he was tall, dark complexioned, with black wavy hair and beautiful deep set eyes. I wish I met him. I wish I got to know him. But all I have is that one photo. And his name, Casiano. 

He missed seeing his 5 daughters graduate from college. He missed walking them down the aisle when they got married. He missed getting to know all his 13 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren (plus one great-greatgrandson)

My grandfather's 13 out of a total of 18 great grandchildren.
(13 girls and 5 boys. Missing 3 other girls and 2 other boys not in the photo)
We can no longer change the past. The war is now etched in my country's history. I can only pray that that would be the last war, and the last foreign invasion that would come to our shores. 

So to you, Unknown Japanese Soldier, I hope you were given the time to repent for the atrocities you committed. I hope you at least felt sorry for all that you did. 

And despite all the hurt you caused my grandmother, my mother and my aunts, I want you to know... 

I forgive you.

10 comments:

  1. What a powerful, painful and yet poignant post. Your grandfather's legacy lives on in all of you. It is sad what happens in war time and the lingering sorrow that follows. Hugs and love to you and yours...

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  2. War is terrible,it takes lives and never brings anything positive. You have a beautiful family and I loved the fact you shared your family story with us.

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  3. Your forgiveness is so powerful. You seem at peace with the past and hopeful for your future. Your grandfathers legacy will certainly live on.

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  4. it's good to talk about past pain & to put it in an open letter like this is a good tool to help with your mental health. No that it's written & you have forgiven you can begin to move on & heal.

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  5. Feel free to read my recent post! But I am admiring you for forgiving him. Hard but noble really.

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  6. I believe this happened during a war. Everything happens for a reason. He maybe can't see his grandchildren now

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  7. Its admirable that you forgave the soldier. It is the people at the top who start the war in the first place that should not be forgiven.

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  8. That's a very touching post. I appreciate that you forgave him that's hard

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  9. so sad seriously i was surprise when tears drop down to my eyes ...am happy that you later forgive me

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  10. Wow, this was a nice article to read. When I was a kid I also have the same question that why the Japenese soldiers killed people and one of them is my great grandfather. But then again, its already in the history and no one can bring back the past. So the only thing that we can do is to forgive those soldiers who did that from our loved ones and wishing and hoping that it will never happen again.

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