Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thoughts on Veterans Day

My gradfathers name is Yoshiwo Watanabe.My middle name is Yoshiwo and my 5 years old son is named Yoshiwo Watanabe in honor of my grandfather.My grandfather was a mans man.An auto mechanic,father of 3,grandfather of 4.Married over 50 years.WW2 veteran.Received the Silver Star and numerous Purple Hearts.His name is also a part of this memorial.

The fateful bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941 forever changed the lives of Japanese Americans.
Japanese American soldiers in Hawaii, without forewarning, were segregated and shipped to the Mainland for training. Across the Pacific, the lives of the Japanese Americans on the mainland were also changed. Presidential Executive Order 9066, a result of prejudice and wartime hysteria, imprisoned approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast in incarceration camps in California, Wyoming, Arizona, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Arkansas. It is worth noting that not one case of espionage was ever proven against any American of Japanese ancestry.
Despite the fact that the Japanese American community was forced to abandon all of their belongings except what they could carry and live in appalling conditions in the camps, many Nisei (second-generation Japanese American) volunteered to defend their country, the United States. However, all had to wait until their draft status was changed from 4C, or "enemy alien,"; another result of the discrimination against Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor.
When they were finally allowed to serve, Japanese Americans were put into various segregated military units, such as the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT), and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). They proved their loyalty through their military service and earned many military decorations for their sacrifices.
In 1989, 44 years after the end of World War II, a group of these veterans came together to form the 100th/442nd/MIS World War II Memorial Foundation to pursue a common dream: To preserve the story of the Japanese American World War II experience. That dream came true on June 5, 1999 when they unveiled the Go For Broke Monument in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California."

My grandfather passed away 6 years ago.I wish my son and he could have met.Even though they've never met, my son Yoshi knows who grandpa Yo is.And he always will.

(Forever immortalized next to my heart,two of the greatest people i have ever met,my grandma and grandpa.)

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