WWII battle souvenirs returned to Japanese families

Posted at 10:33 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 23:35:26-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Two societies, half a world away, are bridging a gap that spanning decades and generations. World War II battlefield souvenirs are being returned to Japanese families, more than 70 years after the end of the war.

The Obon Society acts as a gateway for American and Japanese families to reunite battle flags and other items that were taken from one another during the war.

"The person that is in possession of the flag, they wish to return to the family,” said Keiko Zeik, Obon Society co-founder.  “And we don't say to them what they have to do. They are searching and finding us, and asking us to return them.”

"Make somebody happy by returning a flag,” said Alfred Elders, a WWII veteran. “ That's worthwhile."

The Obon Society says it’s human nature to want to return the items in honor of the fallen, and continue to inspire peace between two nations that were once at odds.

"They're thinking about others,” Zeik said. “What happened to the other family. And it's like do unto others."

You can contact the Obon Society by checking out their website.