If those who ignore history risk having to repeat it, then those who’ve lived through its darker episodes seem lately to be the most inclined to help head off replays.
Consider John Sato. A 95-year-old veteran – one of two soldiers of Japanese heritage to serve in New Zealand’s army in World War II – he took a four-bus journey (then a walk) into Auckland March 24 to stand with Muslims after the Christchurch attacks.
“It doesn’t matter what their race,” he told reporters at a rally. “People are suddenly [realizing] we’re all one.”
Consider a group of Japanese-American activists who, over the weekend, visited a World War II-era internment camp in Texas that once held some 4,000 people of German, Italian, and Japanese descent. Their ceremony reflected the spirit of their mission.
“Instead of being filled with hate,” an officiant remarked, “you are filled with compassion for others.” The activists were on their way to a federal facility in nearby Dilley, Texas, to place chains of origami cranes to show support for asylum-seekers being held there.
And consider an African nation that this week will look back – and forward. In playing host to regional youth games April 2-6, Rwanda also will mark the 25th anniversary April 7 of the start of its notorious period of ethnic bloodshed.
With an eye to other simmering regional conflicts, a Rwandan official said, the games will go beyond promoting the good values of the Olympics. “We will use the games to fight genocide ideology,” he said, “and [to] promote reconciliation and social cohesion.”
Now to our five stories for today, looking at perspectives on youthful masculinity, on homelessness, and on consumer responses to the streaming-media deluge.
Get unlimited Monitor journalism.Learn more