The Rising Sons

In between presidential biographies I am reading a book about some honest-to-God American heroes and patriots. Bill Yenne’s “Rising Sons” is an close-up look at the young Nisei Japanese soldiers of World War II, many of whom volunteered to fight while they were imprisoned with their parents in internment camps.

While many in this country these days declare their patriotism with flag pins and yellow ribbons, the Nisei soldiers were examples of those who truly loved their country and were willing to chance death to defend it. A number of the American born Japanese who served on the front lines as well as interpreting Japanese communications. The latter was not always as difficult as it seems because in many instances our arrogant Japanese foe didn’t imagine that our side could understand their language.

As was often the case with other minorities during the war, the medals awarded the Nisei stopped short of the grand prize. The wrong was righted during Bill Clinton’s administration when a number of the decorated Nisei soldiers had their Distinguished Service Crosses upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

It takes more than paying lip service to patriotism to fight and die for your country when you are pretty much getting screwed. It’s honor at its best. Yenne’s book is a plain-spoken lesson on how foolish you are when you denigrate someone because of their looks. It’s a lesson we all can use from time to time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *