Currently Browsing: Trauma-Healing

A Compassionate World After WWII?

A Compassionate World After WWII?
Security Without Damage or Panic? “We need to reflect on this. How can we, as Americans, assure our security without panicking and without damaging the rights of others?”   Researcher Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, a professor in the department of Asian American Studies at UCLA As the author of an upcoming WWII historical Novel, Following Shadows,  I invite your comments. Over 120,000 Japanese Americans lost their homes, land and possessions and were sent to Interment Camps for the duration of WWII. Due to worry over security (much like our world today) and after severe attack–Pearl Harbor (in our...
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Survival, Loyalty and Faith: Ben Skardon, Bataan Death March Survivor.

Survival, Loyalty and Faith: Ben Skardon, Bataan Death March Survivor.
For the fifth year in a row, 94-year-old Bataan Death March survivor Ben Skardon walked a portion of the march, with friends and familyi called “Ben’s Squadron.” In his speech, accessible through independentmail.com, Ben describes, the point of incarceration in POW camps, when dear friends Otis Morgan and Henry Leitner saved his life. He had already survived a journey in two bombed “Hell Ships,” arriving as among the only one out of four who survived. His three words for us are: survival, loyalty and faith. Survival, the word that honors the most horrible of ordeals. When...
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Whose sacrifice mirrors God for you?

Whose sacrifice mirrors God for you?
Remembering Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan Who mirrored God for you? WWII veteran, Colonel Ben Skardon wants us to remember two names: Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan. They mirrored God for him by saving his life, over and over again. Before I tell you more, Ben’s honoring of his two friends who died in WWII (as fellow POW’s of the Japanese) reminds me of a lesson which brought me faith.  In the exercise we were asked to list the one to two nicest things any other person ever did for us. Once you write this down,  you cross out the names of those you are honoring, and replace each name with the word...
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ABDACOM Loss & Liberation, Dutch East Indies

ABDACOM Loss & Liberation, Dutch East Indies
EPISODES OF WWII: The Dutch cruiser HNLMS JAVA, lost in the Battle of the Java Sea. Photo Derek Simon [1919-2004] courtesy Graeme Andrews. (Photo credit: Kookaburra2011) I have moved into Peet’s coffee, whilst preparing my novel Shadows for professional editing. I believe ABDACOM* would applaud my take-over. My Dutch-American friends, Dutch-Canadian friends, U.S. friends would also all applaud my being here at Peet’s. My Japanese friends today, who include both Japanese-Americans interned in camps in the U.S. and veterans who served the U.S. in WWII (who never had anything to do with...
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Look backward before Liberation 5/5/45

Look backward before Liberation 5/5/45
  Have you ever looked back on tragedy prior to your own or others’ liberation? Have you ever celebrated liberation while remembering the loss and pain of before? In The Netherlands (Holland) the end of World War II is celebrated every May 4th and 5th as the Remembrance and Liberation days. May 4, is Remembrance Day, a solemn day to remember the many civilians and soldiers who lost their lives. May 5 is Liberation Day, a day to celebrate the freedom which was so slow to come after six years of Nazi occupation. Parades re-enact liberation by Canadian, American and British troops. Looking...
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In Darkness, movie director Agnieszka Holland addresses the Banality of Evil

In Darkness, movie director Agnieszka Holland addresses the Banality of Evil
If you could have any faith at all,  after what you had been through… then I could have faith too. words to my Dad How have you struggled with faith? Have you ever considered that such struggles could express a great deal of faith, rather than lack of faith?   The tragic concept of “The Banality of Evil” struck me as I read Christianity Today‘s interview with Agnieszka Holland, director of the amazing foreign film In Darkness.  In Darkness focuses on WWII, the Holocaust, and  Leopold Socha, a Polish sewer worker and petty thief who finds Jewish people hiding in the...
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Excelelnt, Excellent—The Critic

Excelelnt, Excellent—The Critic
I squirm inside (in a healing way I hope) when I see how the intro to the first Excellent, Excellent, Excellent  post  appears on-line. It starts with these words…. “She is right,” said my teacher. “Her work and ability is excellent, excellent, excellent.”   Its as if I felt SECURE writing of INSECURITY  but embarrassed to have the first words readers see to be “She is right,” said my teacher. “Her work and ability is excellent, excellent, excellent.”   So I get to squirm into this awareness: It is okay to celebrate those times that people in God’s world affirm...
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Excellent, Excellent Moments

Excellent, Excellent Moments
What happens  when I approach survivors to do research for my pending novel, Shadows, who are not used to talking? Survivors are probably not thinking to themselves excellent, excellent, excellent at such a time, I know. Yet somehow it all works out. I receive moments, both of us softening again. Softening that which had been hardened pain for so long. We start like barnacles on the bottom of a ship, seemingly impossible to scrape off, infecting every lake it goes to, risking barnacles on every ship, kayak or boat that enters the new lake. Yet, with caring faith-filled talk the barnacles start to come...
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Excellent, Excellent, Excellent

Excellent, Excellent, Excellent
“Excellent, excellent, excellent” I scrawled on my second grade self-report, in Spanish Fork, Utah. Mama went to school for the whole report card and progress report. “She is right,” said my teacher. “Her work and ability is excellent, excellent, excellent.” By the time of this exchange, my excellent, excellent, excellent seven year old self  had already lost two beloved countries (the Netherlands and Iran), many family and friends. My encouraging second-grade teacher was at the fifth elementary school of my young life. Today this memory and report of my teacher’s words fill me with...
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Open Door

Open Door
Open the Door I grew up with words like this, “It’s too terrible to tell you,  it’s too much. I do not hate the Japanese; they were cruel to each other too.” Those words came from my father, every time I asked him what it was like to survive WWII in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). He never told me. Every survivor of WWII has differences in how they survive and thrive… After. For my father it was never to talk about 1942 -1945,  except occasionally to cousins who also survived, or to a combat-survivor soldier. My father’s “combat” survival was in Japanese...
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