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I understand those of my grandfathers generation who never wanted to speak about the Japanese (or Germans) or only spoke about them with hatred. But I am always moved by those who experienced those times and who have been able to get past the wrongs, and if unable to forgive, are at least able to make up. There are numerous stories about former adversaries who have not only made up but who have been active in social programs in each others countries building something positive and of use to the citizens. A story of a group of Australian soldiers going to Japan after the war and building an orphanage comes to mind – at a time when everyone else was screaming for revenge.
in 1942 the Japanese took a couple of torpedo shots at USS Chicago moored in Sydney Harbour, missed and killed 21 sailors quartered in a ferry. The only living survivor, Neil Roberts, is seen here yesterday shaking the hands of the younger brother of the commander of that submarine, which had recently been located sunk off the Australian coast. Who can’t be moved by that image and understand there is more power in forgiveness than there is in revenge?