Thursday, May 31, 2012

A History for Memorial Day

Monday morning I started Memorial Day at my grandma's house eating breakfast. First some backstory, my grandpa, who died in 1990 was a Navy veteran during World War Two. He was, as I am informed, a welder on the airplanes on the second Yorktown, CV-10 I believe. He was also one of the deck gunners. He had a number of friends die during the war and from what I understand was not particularly fond of the Japanese the remainder of his life. We never discussed it because I was four when he died.

Anyway, my grandma remarried her high school sweet heart, whose wife had died of cancer, several years later. During the course of his career he worked with a Japanese-American architect, who happened to visit this past weekend while my sister and I were there. During the very brief time that I spent with the Architect and his wife it was very enlightening. The architect's wife was born in Japan, her mother died when she was an infant and she was sent to the US to live with her grandparents in California. Then the war broke out and she had to live in an internment camp in Arkansas. This combines with the one Holocaust survivor that I met in the same town last summer to remind me of what has happened even recently in history. I am not sure if the architect lived in an internment camp as well, but the message that I received just knowing one person conveyed the message I was interested to hear.

We do not need to learn history to innovate or produce goods and services, but we must learn history so that we do not repeat the mistakes of our past. There is significant value in knowing the past mistakes. That is why experienced people get paid more. These lessons are so valuable! We must remember! More importantly than simply remembering we must also learn from our previous ordeals and do the right thing in the present and in the future. Hopefully the sacrifice of a few can be the lesson for the many.

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