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Flag's journey forges friendship for ex-WWII foes


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#1 JagdtigerI

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:09 AM

" MONROE, Mich. - World War II ended 64 years ago, but for former combatants Ken Buckingham Sr. of Monroe and Isao Kinoshita of Japan, there was still one mystery unsolved from the war in the South Pacific.

That mystery ended recently when Kinoshita flew across the globe to meet Buckingham for the first time. He personally thanked the American soldier who returned a treasured Japanese flag that he lost during the war on the mountainous island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

Friends and family of Buckingham and his wife, Louise, gathered in their apartment Sept. 2 to hear the two former infantrymen share fascinating stories about the end of the war, their somewhat perilous adventures on the island and the mysterious flag that brought them together.

Kinoshita, 87, arrived in the United States Aug. 31 along with his wife of 60 years, Sadako, and their granddaughter, Ayumi, 21. Buckingham's son, Larry, drove his father to a Detroit-area hotel, where they met for the first time Sept. 2, and then brought the family back to Monroe for the day. The Kinoshitas were guests of honor at a luncheon at Joe's French-Italian Inn. Larry said the reunion was moving for him to see.

"When they saw each other, they both hugged and patted each other on the back," Larry, the police chief for the Village of Carleton, said afterward. "They were both grinning and smiling from ear to ear. It was a very touching moment for me."

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Flag's journey forges friendship for ex-WWII foes -- chicagotribune.com
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"If you want peace work for justice" -Pope Paul VI

Jon




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