'The Christmas Tree Regiment'

During WWII, Japanese-American citizens began to be moved from internment to relocation centers, entered the U.S. work force and just as quickly were fired when angry townspeople demanded it of employers.

“At the same time the number of Japanese-Americans serving in the U.S. Army continued to grow, reaching 33,000.

“‘I’ve never had more wholehearted, serious-minded cooperation from Army troops,’ Lt. Col. Faron Turner said of the all-Japanese 100th Infantry Battalion, which fought with great distinction in Italy and France.

“The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which also fought in Italy and France, was known as ‘The Christmas Tree Regiment,’ because it became the most decorated unit in the entire Army.

“In seven major campaigns, the combined 100th and 442nd suffered 9.486 casualties and won 18,143 medals for valor, including almost 10,000 Purple Hearts.

“In addition, almost 16,000 Nisei served in military intelligence in the Pacific, translating captured documents.

“At Topaz, Manzanar, Poston, Heart Mountain and other relocation camps, the parents of fallen heroes accepted the extraordinary honors on behalf of their sons. The color guard turned out as the medals of the dead were pinned on their mothers’ blouses

“The familiar sadness of the ceremony was multiplied by its setting: a tawdry, tarpapered barrack surrounded by strips of barbed wire, which denied the parents of the honored soldiers the very freedom for which their sons had died.”

- Doris Kearns Goodwin, “No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: the Home Front in WWII.”


In this season of faith, love and hope, let our prayer ever be,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14


B.J. said...

Eowyn: Since I have no other way of contacting you, I want to thank you for being a faithful reader and commenter and to wish you much happiness during the holidays! I am certain we will hear from Frodo soon about being on a cruise ship during a tsunami warning! :-) Friends, B.J.

Eowyn said...

Oh, how funny! I didn't know the weather report, but it's his lot, isn't it? He'll love it on some level.

I bought the Sorcer's Stone.

Sometime, when you or your readers have a momment, maybe comment on Biden as a candidate. You have a wide breadth of information and a good good opinion on what's going on. You, and all who comment, have an opinion on this matter that is different than just "the news."

Merry Christmas, and to Frodo, a life vest. I want to say that Hemingway in an interview was asked about writer's block. And he said that if a man had nothing to write about hang him. After 20 minutes cut him down--he'll have something to write about. I don't know about the 20 minutes, but there's a kernal there.

B.J. said...

Note to commenters, just skip over this personal tete-a-tete and fire away – unless you’re interest in campaign 2008!

Hi Eowyn: I do hope you come to love Harry, Ron and Hermione as they make their way through Hogwarts and into adulthood!

I believe you just want opinions on Joe Biden, so I’ll offer mine. I like him and think he would be a good president – he’s a straight-shooter with great foreign policy experience and a keen sense of humor. I don’t know why he hasn’t “caught on.” Seems Hillary and Barack were off and running, and everyone else was left in their dust. I don’t think Biden has raised a lot of money. Sometimes, I think he’s just enjoyed the platform of the debates in getting his points across.

This little poem indicates my personal feelings about John Edwards: “I do not like thee, Dr. Fell, the reason why I cannot tell, but this I know and know full well, I do not like thee, Dr. Fell.” Maybe I don’t quite trust a man with a personal worth of $54.7 million portraying himself as a poor boy, one of us. (I quit watching Oprah several years ago when I realized one day she was telling me to light a candle, try aromatherapy and be happy, when she’s worth a kajillion bucks, and I just try to make it from month to month. Same deal.) Sometimes, I think Edwards is sincere, and sometimes I think he is just lusting for the presidency. Personally, I am turned off when his campaign ads mention Elizabeth’s cancer – “Elizabeth and I sat in a hospital room and decided we want to save America.” (paraphrased)

My distrust of John McCain goes way back. He wants to be EVERYMAN and please everybody. You know, Mr. Nice Guy. Makes me nervous.

Gov. Huckabee is a real charmer and a slick talker. I have heard him explain all the current claims against him in a reasonable way. Don’t know if he’s on the level or just a highly skilled politician. Can’t say I like his using his faith to appeal to the Religious Right base. That’s a turnoff.

I cannot help but like Rudy Giuliani despite his choice of friends. I think his personal life should be, well, personal, except when it involves taxpayer money. In the end, he comes across as exactly what he is – an old-school, big-city politician of the “you-scratch-my-back-I’ll scratch yours” era. Sorry his plummeting poll numbers have put him in the hospital. They must come as a real shock to someone who got off to a ripping start.

Fringe candidates – aka waste-of-a-vote candidates – Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. (Apologies to my Paul and Kucinich fans! I’m a realist.)

Immediately following the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I emailed everyone: “Barack Obama. Keep an eye on this guy, he’s destined for greatness.” I was just blown away by his “Audacity of Hope” keynote address! I had hoped he would be on the ticket as veep and in eight years, his time would come. Let’s just say, I believe he has potential. I will pray, if he’s the party’s winner and ultimately president, he will surround himself with statesmen (in the no-gender sense) who can help him hone his talents and fulfill his hopes – and ours.

Back to the subject of my Christmas post: I have often said, “I’m not anti-war; I’m anti-this war in Iraq.” Sometimes it take a war to right wrongs and stop madmen. For that reason, this country will never elect an anti-war president, no matter how much we yearn for “peace on earth.”

When you put ‘em all in a bag and shake ‘em out, I endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton – for her empathy, her judgment, her resilience and her intellect, attributes which have marked our nation’s greatest leaders.