Saturday, April 20, 2013

In The Persuit of Freedom

This is the story of a nation and it's greatest generation, of a war we fought
to stay free, and the lessons we learned about each other along the way.
This is the story of three groups of Americans, nether group anymore
important then any other. But these groups also had to fight prejudice,
and the enemy at the same time.

In Phoenix Arizona at the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza stands a 9-foot -high memorial, a larger then life sculpture of a Navajo Code Talker rendered in
bronze. At the dedication of the memorial a Navajo said "Before the war we
were considered second class citizens in Arizona. Now, Arizona celebrates
our heritage and our contribution to the freedom of this country."
The Navajo settled in the four corners of Monument Valley of the south west.
In 1863 they were forcibly taken from there land and sent to Fort Sumner
New Mexico, on what the Navajo call "The Long Walk" on this 300 mile
journey two hundred of there number would parish. Resettled in a place
where crops could not grow and sheep could not graze. In 1867 they were
allowed to return to there homeland. In 1941 just after the attack on Peal
Harbor they were ask to volunteer with the Marine Corps as code talkers,
by the end of the war there were some 600 Navajo code talkers. They used
there language to help win the war in the Pacific.

In Los Angeles California stands a Memorial to the U.S. Army's 442 Regimental
Combat Team an all Japanese American unit of some 4,500 men who fought in Europe in world war two, the units motto was "Go For Broke"
In 1941 after the attack on Peal Harbor all Japanese from Hawaii and California
were forced in to internment camps, where they would be held until the wars
end. So these Japanese Americans would fight for America even though there
families were held in internment camps. The 442 would receive more then
18,000 individual decorations and seven Presidential Unit Citations, and 21
medals of honor
And became,the Army's highest decorated small unit of world war two.

In Walter Boro, Memorial Park South Carolina is a Monument to the
Tuskegee Airmen, this was there last training base before going overseas.
African Americans maybe had the longest struggle to be excepted, and stereo
typed as not being smart enough to fly air planes etc. Enter the famed
Tuskegee Airmen, fighter pilots who destroyed 251 enemy aircraft and won
850 individual decorations. Used as escorts for bombers, they never lost a
bomber to enemy aircraft, 66 of there number paid the ultimate price. The
German called them the black bird men, the bomber pilots called them the
red tailed angels, because of the red tail on there airplanes.
So the question is, what is it about this nation that even with there ill
treatment it would not deter them from there goal of liberty. Well I think it
comes down to 36 words.

"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"

Those words are some of the most powerful ever written. I sometimes wonder
if time is in Gods plan, injustices take time to change minds, sometimes

Bruce Knipp