November 15, 2000 Proud to be an American
I’m proud to be an American
where at least I know I’m free,
And I won’t forget the men
who died who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today,
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land…
God Bless the U.S.A.
The United States celebrates Veteran’s Day every November 11. I am ashamed to say that, if not for the “day off” we got on Friday, I probably would have forgotten all about it. But a few “meaningful coincidences” this past weekend reminded me that Veteran’s Day is one of the most important holidays of our nation.
First, we rented the movie “Rules of Engagement” on Friday night. It was about a war general who was exonerated from a crime by testimony from a man who was once his enemy during the Vietnam War. It spoke of the experiences that war veterans share, that we, as civilians, should never assume to understand. It was a great movie.
Then, we got free tickets to the UH football game on Saturday night, where the halftime show was just spectacular! It was such a wonderful show, and from our 50-yard line seats, I forgot about the cold rain and winds for the entire twenty minutes. There were red, white, and blue balloons, dancers, marching bands, and even Miss America and her entourage.
The spotlight of the show were the World War II veterans who just received the Medal of Honor for their distinguished service to the country in war. These men, now old and small, were almost lost amongst the fanfare and hoopla of the production, but were perhaps the most important.
As I watched these men, I thought of all the other people who sacrificed their lives, so that I, a Japanese-American, could live in this wonderful country today. I think of my great-grandparents, who immigrated from Japan, leaving behind friends and family for an unknown destiny. I think about how they worked hard, and risked everything. I think of my uncle, my favorite Uncle Paul, who is buried today at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Hilo. I don’t even know the extent of his military service, except that he would bring us home gifts when he went to Korea for the National Guard. I think of all these people, and then I think of myself.
I feel selfish, spoiled, and thankful for my American life. But I’m very proud to be an American, and will never forget our veterans.
|Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #55（スーザン先生の英語講座）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
“I’d like a cheeseburger and medium fruit punch, and the Hello Kitty Space Pair”
|Loco Girl’s Profile（ロコ・ガールのプロフィール） Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program, and am now employed at PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!|