Memorial Healing

SPU students decorate balconies outside of Ashton Hall in honor of Paul Lee after June 5th.

SPU students decorate balconies outside of Ashton Hall in honor of Paul Lee after June 5th.

 

Masuji Ono has a lot of trouble reconciling himself with his memories of the war. While talking to Jiro Miyake during marriage negotiations, he is shocked by the severity of Miyake's attitudes toward those in charge. "The world seems to have gone mad. Every day there seems to be a report of someone else killing himself in apology. Tell me, Mr. Miyake, don't you find it all a great waste? After all, if your country is at war, you do all you can in support, there's no shame in that. What need is there to apologize by death?" (55). He sees what he did in the war as patriotism, and in that he finds no shame. Despite the bad things that happened, he is drawn to loyalty. However, later at the miai with the Saitos, Ono seems able to accept another opinion on the war. "There are some who would say it is people like myself who are responsible for the terrible things for the terrible things that happened to this nation of ours...I accept that much of what I did was ultimately harmful for our nation, that mine was part of an influence that resulted in untold suffering for our own people" (123). Though he remembered the nationalism and loyalty, he also accepts that it was not all for good. "Glorious" memories of war can be evaluated with this acceptance.

The picture I chose is of Ashton Hall shortly after the shooting on June 5th. I lived in Ashton at the time, and it was painful to be in that place during such a time of mourning. I remember a black cloud hanging over everyone for the next few days, unsure of how to process Paul's death and our loss of security. As we decorated our balcony, we were unsure of how to mourn, but working in community with each other gave us support. We took the time to remember Paul, and in those memories we found healing.

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