ST. PAUL — World War II veteran, Marine Captain Orval Amdahl will return a war souvenir to the original family from Nagasaki in a “Return of the Sword” ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, 9:30 a.m. at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Visitor Center, Second Floor Auditorium.
This event is free and open to the public
“I’ve been oiling this sword for 68 years,” said the 94 year-old Amdahl, who fought in the Pacific for 31 months. “I want to return the sword in peace, with honor.”
Amdahl is returning the Japanese sword he brought home as a “souvenir” to Mr. Tadahiro Motomura and his family from Nagasaki, the the sister city partnership with Saint Paul. After exchanging letters, the two men look forward to meeting each other.
The Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee has facilitated finding the Nagasaki family, using the sword’s wooden Japanese identification tag. Once the Motomura family confirmed their travel plans to the Twin Cities to receive the sword, sister city members arranged the meeting of the families. The ceremony takes place near the Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden, designed by Nagasaki master gardener, Masami Matsuda.
The event honors not only the people to people connection, but the sister city relationship and the International Day of Peace.
Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman will attend and welcome participants; Mr. Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of President Harry Truman, will offer closing reflections. Mr. Daniel, a writer, has been researching reconciliation stories of veterans of the Pacific and atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will greet the Amdahl and Motomura families at a private luncheon after the ceremony, as will members from Japan American Society of Minnesota and representatives from Daikin McQuay, the Japanese-American engineering company that has helped underwrite the event.
The “Return of the Sword” symbolizes friendship between families, the close sister city relationship between Saint Paul and Nagasaki, and peace between the United States and Japan.
For information contact Caren Stelson of the St. Paul Nagasaki Sister City Committee at 612-729-1528 or 952-250-7588, or email Caren Stelson at [email protected]