Conscience and the Constitution

Letter to the Editor
Nichi Bei Times, May 1, 2002 

The Final Word From a Nisei Post

by Loren M. Ishii

Dear Editor:

Besides being the commander of Nisei VFW Post 8985, I am also the newsletter chair/editor. I am publishing the following column in our May 2002 newsletter
which will be mailed out to over 550 addressees on April 30.

Our stance has remained unchanged; however, once the apology ceremony has been concluded, we as a veterans organization will cease our commentaries on the issue, as a whole. However, members are free to continue to respond to whatever negative letters to the editor as may be published in the various Japanese American periodicals.

Note that on May 11, members of our post will be in San Francisco, where we will be guests in attendance of the San Francisco VFW Post. On that day, and then on the following Saturday, May 18, the San Francisco, and then the Sacramento VFW Posts, will carry on a time-honored tradition of installing the new slate of elected officers, who will be tasked with carrying on the proud traditions and mission of our two VFW Posts for the year 2002-2003. We will NOT be in attendance at the "apology" ceremony.

My dad, who is a Korean War Veteran, who was interned at Tule Lake and who is a life member of the Sacramento Nisei VFW Post 8985, as well as the Sacramento JACL, made a comment to me recently, that during this controversy over the apology ceremony, that he had never seen any statement from a "resister of conscience" on why they deserved an apology.

My answer to him, was that these "draft resisters" had what we in the intelligence field refer to as "plausible denial," where they could always claim that the call for the apology ceremony was not initiated by them and where they could sit by idly, while this divisive issue was splitting the Japanese American community again. If this is true, then that is the only area that the "resisters" and Veterans have in common; i.e., "we did not ask for this fight, it was brought upon us."

However, unlike the "resisters," the Nisei veterans have come out and vocalized their opposition to the process/ceremony.

Loren M. Ishii
West Sacramento, Calif.

Read Loren Ishii's Commander's Column in Nisei VFW Post 8985 May 2002 newsletter.

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Updated: May 7, 2002