While the Christmas season is in the air, there is also a memorable day in American history that one American president once said “will live in infamy.” That day is the remembrance of Pearl Harbor coming on December 7. Communities across the US usually host some ceremonies to commemorate the day including one that’s coming up in Phoenix, AZ close to the capitol building where the current memorial to the USS Arizona sits. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will be delivering remarks about the event and what it means for today, and will also put an honorary wreath on display, and then two aircraft from the WWII period will be flying over. This ceremony will take place on December 7 itself, but there are some counties that hold independent memorial services on the days leading up to the 7th.
Pearl Harbor is always going to be kept in US history as a tragedy most known for all the lives that were claimed and the loss of security many Hawaii residents and even US citizens may have been feeling upon hearing about the attack. But one thing the Pearl Harbor Museum in Hawaii notes is that the attack may have actually prevented much worse devastation from WWII considering the territories that the axis powers were gaining at the time. Had the US waited much longer, their getting involved in the war may have happened too late. As America has learned through the years from Pearl Harbor and into the 21st century with 9/11, there is never a time to be unprepared for attacks. Even though this is the holiday season and a lot of work is usually done leading up to it, it’s good to take a little time out of the schedule to visit a veterans memorial.
Most people are familiar with the plight of Japanese-Americans during World War II. More than 100,000 of them were unjustly interned in camps for the duration of the war. But not every one is familiar with the heroics and sacrifices of the thousands of young American men of Japanese descent who bravely served in the war. A new book by photographer Shane Sato hopes to change this.
Entitled The Go for Broke Spirit, the book retells the stories of living Japanese-American veterans, alongside moving portraits of these great men. Sato says that the purpose of the book is not only to educate the public about what these men did for our country, but also to preserve their memory.
These men were second-generation Japanese-Americans — Nisei they were called — who went off to fight for their native country, in spite of the hardships suffered by their friends and families at the hands of the same government they served.
Sato’s book details the heroics of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was a fighting unit composed primarily of Japanese-Americans. For its size and length of service, it was the most decorated unit in the history of the United States military. Their motto was “go for broke,” and it related not just for what they had accomplished on the battlefield, but also for what they planned to accomplish for themselves and their families when they got home.
Sato wrote this book from the perspective of his own family’s experiences. He had uncles and other family members who served in the 442nd, and his mother’s family spent years in an internment camp. His father further served in the Korean War. All this led him to create this unique and special book.
It is a book that will surely illicit emotion and pride by all those who read it.