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  • The 442 most decorated battalion in US history – Japanese Americans

  • I had no idea this memorial existed, but I will definitely go visit it. Japanese Americans were shamefully mistreated during the way, and, as Schaluk Howard mentions, many of them served with extraordinary bravery once they were allowed. Sen Daniel Inouye, for example:

    As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his M1 Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss.

    As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving his own primed grenade reflexively “clenched in a fist that suddenly didn’t belong to me anymore”.

    Inouye’s horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye managed to pry the live grenade from his useless right hand and transfer it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye managed at last to toss the grenade off-hand into the bunker and destroy it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, “nobody [had] called off the war!”

    • not too long ago the renwick gallery hosted an exhibit of crafts made in the japanese interment camps. it’s amazing just how far our nation has come in the past few generations.

      • Yes, we’ve come a long way, now the U.S. simply warehouses undesirables in prisons and ICE detention centers rather than internment camps.

        • There’s bias in the criminal justice system, sure… but to get locked up in jail, you have to have committed a crime. And ICE’s track record is pretty deplorable (see the multi-part series from the Washington Post circa 2008), but people aren’t detained without having broken immigration laws (unless their residency status is revoked for some other reason).

          That’s a world away from putting people of a certain ethnicity in concentration camps just because of their ethnicity.

  • A true hidden gem right out in the open. One of my favorite places to go in the evening and just sit for a while and think

  • i like the gong.

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