The following are remarks by Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, the recipient of the Manzanar Committee’s 2011 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award, which was presented at the 42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 30, 2011. Herzig-Yoshinaga could not attend, so she provided the following remarks for publication here.
For more information on Herzig-Yoshinaga and this award, click on: Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga To Receive 2011 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award at 42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage.
Photo: Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga
What a honor it is for Jack and I to be named recipients of the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award
! If Jack had not left us some six years ago, he would have been absolutely delighted to be there today to receive this award because, over the years, we admired and had great respect for Sue, who fought the good fight for all of us. We are the beneficiaries of her many decades of dedication and hard work in raising the public’s awareness about Manzanar and the other American concentration camps of World War II.
Encouraged by pioneer fighters such as Sue Embrey, Jack’s deep interest in this odious chapter in American History stemmed largely from the knowledge that I, as an American-born citizen among thousands of others of Japanese descent, had been mistreated by the government and deprived of the very principles for which he had served in the Armed Forces to uphold. His resolve to join me in historical research efforts and also participate in social justice movements was grounded in his belief of the obvious racist nature of the World War II exclusion and imprisonment of Japanese Americans. Read more of this post