A wave of remembrance washed upon the shores of collective attention these last few years. Television documentaries with hallowed and somber reflection recount the memories and display the fading images of those last to remember the great battles of the Pacific Theater of the Second World War. The aged veterans are all too soon disappearing from our ranks, our embraces — laid to rest. They bid us look westward in movies and documentaries across the ocean to lonely island battlefields, to ponder the sacrifices of those American and Japanese men, many of them unburied, still listed missing-in-action in jungle graves or resting under dark blankets of ocean in ship and submarine coffins of rusting, barnacled iron, forgotten in the peace of tropical seas.
PBS showed us their battle rancor and eternal rest in a documentary mini-series The War. Actor-Director Clint Eastwood gave us a unique view of the Battle of Iwo Jima in a double-movie. In Flags of our Fathers we experienced this most terrible and wrenching battle on a purgatory landscape of sulfuric black sands from the American Marines and sailors’ perspective. The second movie Letters from Iwo Jima asked us, especially in America, to better understand the men of General Kuribayashi’s island garrison of nearly 23,000 Japanese soldiers who knew from highest ranked to lowest that this was their last stand, their “Alamo,” and none but a handful would see home again.
Specifically what comes to my mind today is the blood-soaked remembrances and images of America’s war in the Pacific against the suicidal defense of its islands by soldiers of the Empire of Japan. As the witnesses to this tragedy from both sides are all but departing this world, the prophetic lesson remains.
I have ever been impacted by the savagery of combatants of wars who regularly become close allies a few short decades onward. This phenomenon inspired my compulsion to write about one of prophecy’s most important lessons:
The people you fight and kill today are ever inevitably foreseen by prophets as your closest friends in the future.
The survivors of these conflicts find themselves living in peace and enjoying commerce in a future reality that if foretold at the time they are murdering each other wholesale, the vision would appear utterly fantastic and impossible to believe. Yet peace and brotherhood is repeatedly foreseen! Americans and Japanese both freely travel to each other’s once forbidden homelands and share in cultural exchange, economic advantage and in friendship.
Who among the American soldiers hunkered down in the red mud and water filled fox holes of fire bases in South Vietnam could see the same Viet Cong and North Vietnamese overrunning their positions as future friends and business partners? Who could visualize a future president of the United States becoming an honored guest in Hanoi?
When the cold war brought the whole world one button push away from Soviet and US Nuclear attack, who could have imagined an end other than the human race’s mutually assured destruction by the hands of both? Yet, here we are, with cold war doomsday evaporating and the end of the world in nukes an idea that died out with a whimper rather than a blast in the early 1990s.
Even now, though hard pressed with some setbacks in the last few years, Russia and America, former enemies of the nuclear age, will eventually solidify a lasting friendship.
I enter these reflections today as a preamble to a story I wish to tell you that required I move beyond the constraints of non-fiction writing. Some stories about essential truths are better told in a fictional vein. I believe the magic of storytelling can teach us about our humanity far more effectively than a dry history book or a mere chronicling of facts. Stories are more fun too!
I have a story to tell you. It is called “Tomorrowland. ” It is the first short story of a new fiction genre I call “Scry Fi.”
Please take a look HERE.
Thank you. Have a happy Memorial Day Weekend.
(22 May 2009)