The article “California formally apologizes for WWII internment of Japanese Americans” in the Feb. 21 edition reminded me of the difficult experience of Japanese Americans.
I have a friend in Texas and he once introduced the story of Japanese Americans with tearful eyes: After the Pearl Harbor attack, Japanese Americans were thought of as dangerous people and some 120,000 individuals were sent to the 10 different camps. Yet we know that Japanese American soldiers fought very bravely in rescuing Texans. To rescue the so-called “Lost Battalion of Texas,” the most famous Japanese American regiment, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, essentially formed of nisei (American-born children of Japanese immigrants), paid a great price. Their parents were imprisoned in the camps.” He ended his talk by saying, “We should never repeat the tragic war!”
Every time I remember his talk and the following words, I am struck by the historical fact of their life-giving loyalty and am led to ponder the difficulty, yet the necessity and importance, of forming a country together with people who have different backgrounds.
The words to which I refer —“loyalty to one’s country is not modified by racial origin — are written on the monument near Bruyeres, France, that was erected in memory of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and its members who gave their lives in the fighting at Bruyeres.
They proved their loyalty by giving their lives. I sincerely pray for the repose of their souls from the bottom of my heart. We can never forget their history.
This life-giving loyalty history continues to call on us to always make every effort for shaping the country so that everybody has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness under any circumstances.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.