Go for Broke #442nd #memorialday

You always amazed me with that sweet quiet smile
I would pull into my driveway we always talked for awhile
I loved the deep brown wrinkles that formed a content countenance
I never saw a frown as you leaned over our fence
So few of us knew the layers of the real you

A master gardener for a well known  organization was your due

Your work was written up in magazines here and nation wide
I saw those gardens – you have the perfect eye
How surprised was I to find in a simple interview
Of your marked heroism your bravery too
Your dear precious wife proudly brought out your medal
so I plied the story – you played like a fiddle
Layer by layer your story was told
relocated to Tanforan’s racetrack where horses were foaled

Your farms taken your family sent afar
I knew very little then about Manzanar
there I saw “off limits” and shame in your eyes

When that place was mentioned a place you despised

You were proud to be a Nisei son
your parents sought a better life not to be shunned
How could a nation summarily label you as the enemy?
But they did so without thinking – it was delivered shamefully
You were just 18 when you signed for the 442nd
You would have signed up to fight with any unit I reckon
Proud were you and your Japanese brothers

To fight under the American flag you had no druthers

“Go for Broke” was your cry

Many young lives for America died

Each of you shed blood for the cause

Didn’t America know it was their loss?
That limp so dear to me came with pride
to carry several fallen back to safety one lived another died
You are a hero in many eyes
You bring beauty into the world every day

The flowers your beauty always on display

But the thing I realize I see

Is a man with a rich history

And now when I see you I ponder awhile
I dwell on the heart of the man with the tanned wrinkled smile

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the opportunity to tell you what you have done for this country.
You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice.
And you won.
You have made the Constitution stand for what it really means: the welfare of all the people, all the time.”
– President Harry S. Truman speaking to the 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, July 15, 1946