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Remember............

As we approach this Memorial Day, We should remember what the day means. Some of us are not aware of the meaning, or don't really care anymore. Most of us think its just a time to have a three day holiday away from work.

And then sometime we just need to kick back and remember what Memorial Day is all about.

Some time ago I posted a photo set on the Japanese Internment Memorial, they have now added to it, so as we go into Memorial Day I thought it would be a nice to post another set of the memorial.

So Remember………………….Memorial Day!!

Eugene, Oregon’s Japanese internment memorial

In the memorial, an innocent figure represents the years of suffering: A wavelike stone path leads to a bronze statue of a young Japanese-American girl, reaching for a butterfly as she sits atop her family's possessions, waiting to catch a train bound for a wartime camp.

Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi and Min Yasui challenged the constitutionality of imprisoning 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry in 1942. Executive Order 9066, issued by Franklin D. Roosevelt, set the process in motion even though Japanese Americans had already been cleared of suspicion as subversives by the government. Yasui, born in Oregon, Korematsu, born in California, and Hirabayashi, born in Washington, were in fact arrested by authorities simply for insisting on their rights as Americans. The cases against them were overturned much later in a 1972 court action which led to the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Min Yasui graduated from the University of Oregon Law School in 1939.

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These are the Artists who created the Memorial

Beginning in 1942, 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, both immigrants and their American-born children, were confined in ten inland internment camps surrounded by barbed wire. They were guarded by armed sentries in watchtowers. Their community leaders were arrested separately by the FBI and imprisoned in 13 different detention centers. Most lost possessions, homes and property. The thousands who languished in the hostile climes where these camps were located supported America's war effort even in their imprisonment, working in the fields during times of harvest, sending their sons into military service, and buying war bonds. In 1988 the living survivors of the camps belatedly received reparation payments and a letter of apology signed by the President of the United States under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

Kobayashi, a second-generation U.S. citizen, created three bronze plaques that will attach to three large stone boulders, representing justice, perseverance and honor. “I just want to tell the story of the Japanese-American, of what happened during the war,” said Kobayashi, who is now 80. “It means a lot to me: We shouldn't forget what happened.”

Young Nisei men — second-generation Japanese Americans — volunteered by the thousands from the internment camps and Hawai'i when the opportunity to serve their country in WWII opened up in 1943. The all-Nisei 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) fought in Europe, and its men became known as the best combat troops in the European Theater of Operations. They never failed to take an assigned objective, and the 100th/442nd RCT emerged as the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. Twenty more Medals of Honor were awarded in June 2000. The Military Intelligence Service — top secret until declassified in 1972 — served with high distinction in the Pacific War. Nisei soldiers contributed greatly to protecting American freedoms, with unsurpassed valor and honor.

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Graduation time for Japanese Americans - 66 years later

It’s graduation time at the University of Washington and for several former students, this Sunday will be a very momentous occasion.

A few months ago we told you that 440 AJAs who were removed from the school during World War II are finally receiving their degrees - 66 years later. Well, the time has finally arrived, and while many are not alive to receive their degrees, the university’s ceremony is still an important gesture for the Japanese American community.

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When the UnitedStates entered World War II in 1941, there were 5,000 Japanese Americans in the U.S. armed forces. Many were summarily discharged. Those of draft age were classified as 4-C, “enemy aliens,” despite being US citizens.

In January 1943, the US War Department announced the formation of the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) made up of Nisei volunteers from Hawai'i and the mainland.

Due to their outstanding bravery and the heavy combat duty they faced, the 100/442nd RCT became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history for its size and length of service. There were over 18,000 individual decorations for bravery, 9,500 Purple Hearts, and seven Presidential Distinguished Unit Citations.

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Japanese novelist and essayist, a master of psychological fiction. Soseki's best-known work is Kokoro (1914), a story about loneliness and friendship of a young student and his mentor, referred to as the honorific title of “Sensei”. Several of Soseki's books examined problems of the modernization of his country. Along with Ogai Mori (1862-1922), Soseki is considered to be the father of Modernism in Japanese literature. His portrait appeared on the 1000 yen note from 1984 to 2004.

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These are the builders of this wonderful memorial

REMEMBER!!! PLEASE REMEMBER!!!

~~~~ ~~~~~~~~THE CAMPS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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    There are 12 comments, add yours!

    • # Dadlak

      Thanks for sharing this story and these pictures...will add to my appreciation of Memorial Day

      2008.05.26 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Reinaldo

      Great memorial...you did a great work of investigation, everything what means segregation must be denounced. A single humanity... in a single world..Thank

      2008.05.25 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Lynda

      Interesting post. A great injustice was done and reparation came far too late. I had an uncle who had a jewish mother, wrote an anti Hitler book and had to flee Germany for his life. He became a naturalised British citizen, married my mum's sister but the british gov still interned him in a camp on 1 of the channel islands for the duration of the war. So there were injustices here in the UK, too.

      2008.05.25 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Oldbabe

      This is a beautiful memorial. And thanks for the education to go along with it - it was interesting reading. I guess I didn't realize there were so many camps either.

      You are right about Memorial Day. It should be a time to remember. But for most it's another day off work. I was thinking about a post for tomorrow but I don't think I can top yours!

      2008.05.25 Edited Reply Cancel

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