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My Father and I and Saburo Sakai.

While doing some research on World War II Japanese naval aviators, I happened to come across Col Francis Stevens's article "My Father and I and Saburo Sakai" (Chronicles Online Journal, 21 June 2006). I've read about many amazing things done by members of our military, but never have I heard of something as astonishing and noteworthy as what Colonel Stevens did in his interaction with Saburo Sakai. Although Sakai was renowned for his skill and honor in aerial combat, Colonel Stevens is a great man in terms of a far more important virtue--the personal strength of character first to forgive and then to befriend a former enemy who felled not only many of his countrymen but also his own father. It was a beautiful act of humanity to which more people should aspire.

Roger Van Royen

Santa Rosa, California
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Title Annotation:Ricochets and Replies
Author:Van Royen, Roger
Publication:Air & Space Power Journal
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Jun 22, 2008
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