Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 25 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Herman “the Cripple”
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

WWII veteran keeps a 73-year promise and the moving moment is caught on video

MARVIN STROMBO

Shinichiro Nakane |The Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 08/23/20

Marvin Strombo's gesture proved that he is a true war hero.

Although in his 90s and visibly frail, Marvin Strombo, a WWII war veteran who took part in the Pacific War, was determined to honor a promise he’d made to a Japanese soldier whose body he discovered in the middle of No Man’s Land in Japan.

When the young Strombo came across the soldier, Sadao Yasue, whom he believed had been killed by a mortar attack, he noticed he was clinging to a Japanese flag under his uniform. Strombo was touched by this soldier’s clear devotion, and decided he wanted to take the flag that was covered in calligraphy and one day return it to the fallen soldier’s family.

In retelling the story that was recently posted by Happiness Heroes, Strombo is filled with pain, so much so that he needed to rest during filming. But it is heartening to see that he was finally able to get some closure to an event that obviously had such a profound effect on his life.

After 73 years, and with the help of the Obon Society (a non-profit that aims to reconcile families affected by the war), Strombo once more flew across the Pacific, this time for a much happier reason. He was finally able to restore the Yosegaki Hinomaru (a good-luck flag that had over 180 signatures of friends and family) to the soldier’s brother, Tatsuya Yasue.

In a moving ceremony you can see the veteran handing over the flag to the family member and the pair then proceed to unfurl the flag that seemed in perfect condition. The meaningful gesture was a wonderful sign of respect to the fallen soldier’s family, providing them with some comfort, even after all these years. “The flag will be our treasure,” shared Yasue with the Washington Post, as reported by SBS.

Strombo’s act demonstrated not only his respect for life, but the importance of honoring the dead. His efforts allowed Yasue’s family to find some closure as well. “It’s like the war has finally ended and my brother can come out of limbo,” said Yasue.

Tags:
JapanWorld War II
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
2
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
3
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
4
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
5
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
7
Bret Thoman, OFS
A journey to the shrine of St. Padre Pio
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.