May 28, 2007
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
Enjoy your Decoration Day
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
These things I command you, that ye love one another.
-Arlington National Cemetery
-Memorial Day (History Channel)
-National Memorial Day Concert (PBS)
-SPEECH: Memorial Day Speech (Peter W. Schramm, May 2004)
Posted by Orrin Judd at May 28, 2007 12:00 AM
[Originally posted: 5/30/05]
I attended Memorial Day commemorations today.
As I listened to six Buddhist priests chant a prayer for dead veterans (there are a lot of Buddhist vets in this cemetery, from the 442nd), I thought:
To hell with Christian exceptionalists.
Buddhists can die just as well for Christian ideals.
So can Shintoists.
Speaking of the 442nd, were there any Shintoist priests at the commemoration?
For the younger set of Judd readers who might not know (and Harry could certainly say it better than I), the 442nd Regiment was the most highly decorated regiment in World War II (meaning that they took enormous casualties and fought with incredible bravery). It was composed exclusively of Japanese-Americans (hence Harry's reference to Buddhism), and sent to fight in Europe so as to avoid any perceived conflict-of-interest in fighting ethnic kinsmen in the Pacific Theater. For those visiting Honolulu, I strongly urge a visit to the Punchbowl National Cemetery (perched above Honolulu in the crater of an extinct volcano). From a purely tourist standpoint, the panoramic views from Diamond Head to Ewa are spectacular. From a citizen's standpoint, the vast number of Japanese names on the headstones and monoliths (for those whose bodies were never recovered) is testimony to one aspect of the immigration discussion oj so skillfully injects in this forum. I hope that Harry will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Sen. Daniel Inouye lost his arm serving in the 442nd. I disagree with Sen. Inouye on just about everything political, but I am thankful to him on this and every other Memorial Day.
They died for American ideals, Orrin, which had nothing to do with exclusive Christianity, obviously.
Fred, shintoism is nearly dead here. There are only a couple of temples and the average age of the members must be over 85. So, no, they were not represented at the Memorial Day ceremonies.
The 442nd is famous, producing not only Inouye but the late Sen. Spark Matsunaga, and most of the political and business leadership of the islands.
Less well known were the AJA boys (Americans of Japanese Ancestry) who went into the Military Information Service. They were picked for their Japanese language skills and served in the Pacific.
Bravest of the brave, because they knew what awaited them if they were captured.
The story of the AJAs is one of the least understood in our history and has been distorted both by their friends and (most recently) by their enemies, like Michelle Malkin.
Before Orrin speaks his opinions about them, he ought to read what they were saying at the time.
Yes, they died for America's ideals:
" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."