Monday, December 17, 2012

RIP: Senator Daniel Inouye

His medal of honor citation, by way of Ace's:
Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.
Pretty damned heroic.  I may not agree with his politics, but he certainly earned his right to his say.

Bear in mind, at the time, the Japanese of the West Coast were interred in camps by the order of the great FDR, as possible traitors, as were some, but not all of the Japanese who lived in Hawaii. While their military aged sons were allowed to volunteer for the military, they were required to serve in Europe, where it was thought the chance of treason would be less tempting.
Japanese-American internment was the relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of about 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. All who lived on the West Coast of the United States were interned, while in Hawaii, where the 150,000-plus Japanese Americans composed over one-third of the population, an estimated 1,200 to 1,800 were interned. Of those interned, 62% were American citizens.
Italian Americans, and even to some extent German Americans came under suspicion.  Georgia's Italian family in Eureka, California.  While Vince, Georgia's father, was serving in the South Pacific, the family in Eureka were restricted to the area of Eureka on the poor side of town, up to 2nd street (starting at Humboldt Bay). This has been documented in the book "The Unknown Internment: An Oral History of the Relocation of Italian Americans During World War II" by Stephan R. Fox, in which interviews with Vince are featured, and "Una Storia Segreta : The Secret History of Italian American Evacuation and Internment During World War II."

They sent the Japanese out to fight the Germans and Italians, and they sent the Italians out to fight the Japanese.

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