Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7th~Infamy and a Sense of Pride

Today is December 7th. I don't get political in my blog, but seventy years ago Pearl Harbor was attacked. The quote which has lived on was by Franklin D. Roosevelt..."A day which will live in infamy."

Now I have a different take on the whole Pearl Harbor attack which may raise an eyebrow or two...a sense of  pride. Until recently, I used to be bad mouthed because of my views on the attack. In fact in school, I was beaten. Yes, a whole lot of people died and the U.S Pacific fleet was crippled. They should be remembered and mourned.

So why a sense of pride with this horrible event? My grandfather was an engineer. He designed the prototype for the bombers which attacked Pearl Harbor. This is where my pride stems from. That such a small island nation, such as Japan, could have the courage to play David with a Goliath  is awe inspiring. Now, that history has been rectified and it is known that this truly wasn't a sneak attack, but America's way of entering the war has made this sense a pride a little easier to voice.

I take pride in my family and their achievements. This is part of my personal history as well as every other American's. But mine is a dual history both Japanese and American. Having viewed the history of WWII in books, museums, and having family who lived in Japan during the war, I've heard first hand stories both sides. A truly rare resource perspective, at best. In my travels, I have been belittled by small minded people because of my heritage. My heritage is a proud one. One based on family, honor, and values which comes from a history of thousands of years back to the Shoguns and Samurai.

What I never really never understood was why the U.S chose to put Japanese Americans in internment camps? Aw heck, why pretty it up...concentration camps. Yes, with the second word you get the ugly image of the German variety, but if you read the descriptions of the camps in the U.S. you will find a whole lot of similarities. These were American citizens!

Americans didn't confiscate property or forcibly remove Germans from their homes? Weren't they at war with Germany also? The rationale seems a bit skewed to me. I would have lost more family if they had done that. I'm half German and Japanese. It was a mistake and based on fear. No good decision is ever based on fear and paranoia.

Memories make you what you are today. This is one of mine.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

3 comments:

Zan Marie said...

Ah, Jo, I do understand your pride. In fact, when I still taught World History, I taught all sides of the war, not just the American view.

J.L. Murphey said...

Zan Marie, but you are younger so you had the facts. When I was growing up Japan was still the nasty country that attacked the US without warning.

Zan Marie said...

Thank you, Jo! But I may be older than you think. ; ) I was taught the one-sided version in high school and got "broadened" as they say when I majored in history at college.