Tattered World War II flag brings two families together



It’s important that a man understands his father so he can better understand himself. And when the fathers are gone, we cling to things — belongings and symbols — that show what they stood for and who they were. In Centralia, Kim McDougal has learned new things about his father after finding a unique package.  Herb McDougal is 88-years old. He lives in a retirement home and suffers from Friedreich’s ataxia, which makes it difficult for him to speak clearly. But his mind is sharp and clear, and it’s full of devastating, vivid memories of a distant war.

“It seems like a long time ago to me,” Herb said. Herb fought in the Battle of Okinawa in April 1945, where he witnessed some of the most desperate, savage warfare the world has ever seen. The Japanese were dug into an elaborate system of caves and tunnels, and the Allied Forces had to go in and get them. Herb, young and scared, saw things 68-years ago that most people can’t even fathom.

“Terrible, terrible,” he said. “Well, I did what I had to do.” Four months ago, Kim’s wife Shannon found a little box in Herb’s drawer. “I said, ‘What’s this?’ And he goes, ‘Well, it’s a flag,'” Shannon said. It was a Japanese flag, and it was stained with blood and dirt and God knows what else. Herb had taken it as a souvenir from one of the caves.

Source and read more: komonews.com

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