It is a very humble act of friendship that brings honor to both sides to a degree that is difficult to really put in to words.
This isn't about a battle-flag; so pull that historical benchmark out of the way.
Read it all - not just the pull quote below -, look at the picture, and then read it again.
In a gesture of friendship and goodwill, Rear Adm. James F. Caldwell, commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, returned a Japanese good luck flag belonging to a World War II Imperial Japanese soldier, July 26.This is how it should be between friends whose past was not what it should have been, but for decades has become what it always should have always been.
Caldwell returned the flag to Consul General of Japan, Toyoei Shigeeda, at the Consulate-General of Japan at Honolulu. The flag was previously in the possession of Caldwell's great uncle, Capt. (ret.) Jay V. Chase, a World War II U.S. naval officer.
"This flag didn't rightfully belong to me, it belongs to the town or the family," Caldwell said. "It's meaningful to Japan, it's meaningful to the town, and it's meaningful to the family of the soldier to who it belonged."
Here is to many more decades with our friends the Japanese, and I hope in some way this helps the Japanese family on the other end.
BZ to RADM Caldwell.