Letters for Tuesday, September 12, 2017

• Let us have peace • Listen up for lesson on island life

Let us have peace

A series of recent letters in TGI have prompted me to write.

It started with a letter seeking respect for our citizens of Japanese ancestry. That was followed by a letter suggesting that no respect was warranted because they “bombed us.” That was followed by a letter reminding us of the bravery of Nisei who sacrificed their lives for our country. My letter cries out for compassion and respect, not bigotry and engaging in the blame game.

Yes, the Japanese (not Americans of Japanese ancestry) bombed Pearl Harbor, killing 2,500 persons (mostly military). And we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing 210,000 (mostly civilians). Both sides deserve blame and shame.

Let us carry on the conversation with compassion and mutual respect. Hopefully, exposing the atrocities of the past will deter repetition.

The exhibit, “Unlikely Liberators,” presently on display at the Kauai Veterans Center, tells the story of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry encountering the Nazi death march of 5,000 Jewish prisoners from the Dachau Death Camp and one of 123 sub-camps in that area of southern Germany.

The march was organized as part of the Nazi attempt to destroy evidence of the holocaust. It started out with 20,000 prisoners, human beings of skin and bones — walking skeletons.

When encountered by the Nisei, three quarters of them had died from starvation, exhaustion and were shot and killed if they didn’t keep up. These Nisei, mostly from Hawaii, were the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, part of the 442 Regimental Combat Team. Their motto was “Go For Broke,” and they did. Some were from internment camps in our West Coast where their families were incarcerated by our country.

These men volunteered to risk their lives by serving in our military notwithstanding the bigotry and mistreatment by reason of ethnicity! They were the most decorated military unit of its size in all of American history!

Tell me to my face that they don’t deserve respect.

On Sept. 16 at the Kauai Veteran’s Center and Sept. 17 at Lydgate Beach Park (main pavilion) groups will be promoting peace through song and speech. Please attend these free functions and learn how to treat each other with compassion and respect. Shalom!

Jim Jung Chaplain, American Legion, Post 54, Kapaa

Listen up for lesson on island life

Here we are on the “Garden Island of Kauai” where everything grows in such lush abundance with such lavish varieties — including the multi-dimensional presence of the blends of cultural diversities! Wat dat? Da “mix-mix” of ethnicities just like chop suey dat may be your neighbor, your grandchild, or even you, yourself!

What a delight it is! Now, it’s better not to “talk steenk” because you might be stepping on your own toes! Now, you can get da “inside story” to da whole nine yards about any ethnic group, because you’re one of them, even if only little bit — but every bit counts!

You going know what all da secret ingredients are to every legendary recipe, and if you doroknow, as your fault for not paying attention when somebody was cooking dat stuff in your kitchen!

So, dis is da lesson fo’ today: Keep yo’ mout shut, your eyes opened and da wax out of yo ears! Udda wise, duhhhhh! You going miss out! As true, hah?

Jose Bulatao Jr., Kekaha

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