As we approach the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, we should take a moment and remember the stories of those who fought, died, and survived during this tragic period of history. Each family has a story. My family’s story of survival took place both in Japan and America. In the United States, my family was taken away to a concentration camp, while my grandfather lost our family farm. Before the war, he ran a large farming operation on the Sacramento Delta, and when he was released in 1945, the Americans had left him with nothing.
Turning to Japan, my relatives suffered immense hardship in Nagoya, Kumamoto, and Hiroshima. As the fighting escalated, one my uncles even volunteered and became a kamikaze, conducting his final mission off the Philippines in 1944. He was one of the first to go, and proudly carried his samurai sword as he climbed into his plane.
Each family has a story, of loved ones lost, and how they struggled to survive. Sacrifices were made so that others might live, and those of us alive today owe our existence to the perseverance and bravery of those who faced those dark days in the summer of 1945. May they rest in peace, and may their stories never be forgotten.