What Day Was it Yesterday?

Posted: December 9, 2013 in A Service-Minded Civilian's Perspective
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I didn’t forget what day it was.

It was a Saturday. I had to go to work. One of the residents wanted to watch television, and I turned on the TV to see news that Merrill Newman was released from prison in North Korea and returning home. We rejoiced over that.

It was in December. After work I went to a Christmas festival and bought some home baked rolls to save and serve for Christmas dinner. I had wanted to deliver a gift to someone particularly deserving on my way home, but having forgotten that, I settled for driving home directly. It was just as well, as it got dark very quickly, and the weather was abominable.

The temperature peaked in the teens, but it didn’t feel a single degree above zero. The wind- always a fixture in eastern Idaho weather- showed its real strength, bringing gusts so strong and snow so blinding, it didn’t just make my long commute home a nerve-wracking experience. I considered tbe possibility of the wind tearing away my American flag, blowing it down the street, and depositing it two blocks away to freeze under rapidly accumulating layers of snow. It did strike me as a good idea to break with tradition that morning, though, and not put my flag out. When I returned home, I joined my husband and kids in decorating the Christmas tree, thankful to see our flag safe and dry indoors.

Yesterday was the seventh of December. I made sure that my kids remembered what happened on another December seventh, when a storm of a far worse nature hit our shores, making landfall in Pearl Harbor. My grandfather most certainly felt its impact, living- as he did at the time- in Germany with American and German citizenship, forced to examine his loyalties and priorities. This year as always, I remembered him and his service during World War II as a US soldier. But this year I wanted to do something for another soldier whose world was rocked by the attack on Pearl Harbor. His loyalty as an American was questioned even more than my grandfather’s was all because of his ancestry. He also managed to avoid being placed in an internment camp. But, unlike my grandfather, he didn’t have to choose a side. He knew where his loyalty lay, and was only compelled to prove it to a nation that should never have doubted him.
Hero Shiosaki, having served in the all Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, saw some of the worst action on the European front, where my grandfather, due to getting out of Germany when he did and due to his MOS within the army, did not have to fight. Mr. Shiosaki’s service and the sacrifices he and his brothers in arms made did not get the timely recognition due them, though they were nonetheless “most decorated and decimated.” He most recently was awarded an Idaho Hometown Hero medal back in August for his continued dedication to his fellow veterans and to educating our young people, as mentioned in the Blackfoot Morning News.


I did not want to give him a medal. I just wanted to show that writers and artists in the comic book industry have not forgotten the valor and dedication of the 442nd. And since Blackfoot was about halfway home from work and road conditions were a little better, I made sure his family got a copy of Journey of Heroes today- better a day late than never! For those who haven’t read Journey of Heroes, don’t wait until next Pearl Harbor Day to get a copy. You can order it here.



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