In an interview with CCTV News, Retired U.S. colonel, John Easterbrook said that the invaluable legacy his grandfather General Joseph Stilwell left from WWII is the friendship between Chinese and American people.
As one of the most prominent Americans to fight in China during WWII, Joseph Stilwell headed more than 250,000 Americans troops in the China-Burma-India arena. From 1942 to 1944, together with Chinese forces, Stilwell helped secure a key transport route for the resistance against Japanese aggression across southwest China.
Easterbrook said that his grandfather had been given a number of opportunities to leave the battlefield but he insisted on staying. In a letter to a friend, Gen. Stilwell wrote, “If I didn’t think the Chinese people deserved a break, I would have left long ago”.
“I think his legacy of respect, admiration, and friendship with the Chinese people is even more important than his legacy of helping the Chinese soldiers, because that is more enduring,” Easterbrook said.
This tenacity eventually led the Allies to win the war. To Easterbrook, the soldiers who made sacrifices deserve the utmost respect, and the friendship between Americans and Chinese should be extended over generations.
“The people who sacrificed the most, in any war, are the soldiers. It’s really up to us, young and old, to remember those veterans,” Easterbrook said. “We have to also remember the spirit of cooperation that existed in those years between the American people and Chinese people, in the face of unprovoked aggression.”