Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence
Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence is a compelling story of courage, community, endurance, and reparation. It shares the experiences of Japanese Americans (Nisei) who served in the U.S. Army during World War II, fighting on the front lines in Italy and France, serving as linguists in the South Pacific,More »
Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence is a compelling story of courage, community, endurance, and reparation. It shares the experiences of Japanese Americans (Nisei) who served in the U.S. Army during World War II, fighting on the front lines in Italy and France, serving as linguists in the South Pacific, and working as cooks and medics. The soldiers were from Hood River, Oregon, where their families were landowners and fruit growers. Town leaders, including veterans' groups, attempted to prevent their return after the war and stripped their names from the local war memorial. All of the soldiers were American citizens, but their parents were Japanese immigrants and had been imprisoned in camps as a consequence of Executive Order 9066. The racist homecoming that the Hood River Japanese American soldiers received was decried across the nation. Linda Tamura, who grew up in Hood River and whose father was a veteran of the war, conducted extensive oral histories with the veterans, their families, and members of the community. She had access to hundreds of recently uncovered letters and documents from private files of a local veterans' group that led the campaign against the Japanese American soldiers. This book also includes the little known story of local Nisei veterans who spent 40 years appealing their convictions for insubordination. Linda Tamura is professor of education at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She is the author of The Hood River Issei: An Oral History of Japanese Settlers in Oregon's Hood River Valley. "An important book about significant wartime events, a group of heroic World War II veterans, and the anguished experience of a community coming to grips with its own social sins. It is a superb oral history, a compelling community history, and a cautionary story about what happens when a democracy goes to war." -William L. Lang , Portland State University " Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence speaks to contemporary concerns about multiculturalism and diversity with an absorbing and powerful story that encompasses both U.S. military and civilian life and strategically links the past with the present in a manner that vivifies what William Faulkner meant when he said that 'the past is not dead, it is not even past.'" -Arthur A. Hansen , Professor Emeritus of History and Asian American Studies, California State University, Fullerton« Less
coming home to Hood River
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