Can You Remember? | Teen Ink

Can You Remember?

March 23, 2013
By friendzyfriend SILVER, Holmdel, New Jersey
friendzyfriend SILVER, Holmdel, New Jersey
6 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Can you remember? Can you recall how your face felt, frozen from the blustery gales of the endless winter, raw from the pounding of the ice pellets against your thin cheeks? Does it still pain you to reminisce the gnawing hunger in your belly, hunger for something—anything of any sustenance?
As those unspoken questions lingered, my grandmother’s face grew taut with sorrow. “Yes, but there was no blame,” she whispered. “No blame.”
The Nanjing massacre was among one of the worst atrocities committed during WWII. Contrary to popular belief, the Jewish Holocaust had not been the bloodiest mass murder of the time period. The Nanjing massacre, an atrocious act of inhumanity caused by the Japanese to assert their power over the Chinese government, was at least twice as violent, and often more traumatizing.
At the time, although she did not live in Nanjing, the surrounding lands were also taken over by the Japanese. The army men were especially crude, often delighting in torturing children and women simply to feel their power over them. My grandmother had been a child when the invading armies first came to China, but she still recalls the horror and tragedy, the fear and isolation.
“We left for the caves,” she said. “There were mountains nearby, tall peaks where the Japanese would not come. My mother told us to be brave and hold ourselves up. When we ran away, I had no idea how awful the village would be when we came back. We were essentially leaving our homes behind.”
And yet it was the bravery of people like my grandmother who show the world that, even in the midst of one of the worst wars of human history, there is still courage to be found.

The author's comments:
My grandmother had always been a person of great courage. Every time I feel down, she's been there to help me back up.

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