ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A weapon once used in war is now a symbol of peace, thanks to a Minnesota man who wanted to do the “right thing.”

Hundreds looked on as World War II veteran Orval Amdahl returned a Japanese sword to its rightful owner Saturday afternoon in St. Paul.

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Amdahl was given the sword 68 years ago as a war souvenir. He never felt it truly belonged to him, so Amdahl used an inscription on the sword to find its true owner, which led him to the Motomura family of Japan.

Two members of the family flew in from Nagasaki to receive the sword in person.

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“As you will notice, the sword is a piece of art. And this is the reason I would like it returned to its rightful owner,” Amdahl said. “I had it for 68 years. I hope he has it for 68 years.”

Amdahl got help reaching out to the family through the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee.

Saturday’s “Return of the Sword” ceremony coincides with the International Day of Peace.

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Click here to see reporter Bill Hudson’s original interview with Amdahl, where he shares the story of how he first acquired the sword.