Herbert Isonaga
VVV

Reflections and Observations

“The greatest thing that happened to the AJA community was World War II. The 442nd and the 100th did a great service to the AJA community and ourselves for having served. I take great pride in that.

I sincerely feel that the recognition we deserve has been offered to us in many, many ways. Primarily in the opportunities that it has offered us.”

The greatest thing that happened to the AJA community was World War II. The 442nd and the 100th, I think, did a great service to the AJA community and ourselves for having served. I take great pride in that.

Herbert Isonaga, Camp Shelby
Herbert Isonaga, Camp Shelby

I sincerely feel that the recognition we deserve has been offered to us in many, many ways. Primarily in the opportunities that it has offered us.

But unfortunately, I see that this thing is all going to die very shortly. I say this because we, the 442nd, is presently considering ways to preserve our legacy and we ask what is our legacy? We want to define what our legacy is. I think I don’t want to try to define it. But I feel that we are losing something when we think about trying to preserve our legacy.

Rather than thinking or trying to preserve our so-called legacy, I would prefer that we build something, something permanent that we can leave to the community. I don’t know what that is.

But I don’t think it’s going to be done because what I notice today is that, at least, on this island, we don’t have the people who really cares about it. There is no one with the drive and initiative to push for any kind of permanency to the legacy that we can leave.

And on the other hand, the thought is, who cares? Is it important? I ask you that? My kids don’t give a damn. (Chuckles) My friends’ children don’t give a damn. So if they don’t give a damn, who cares? We’re not going to live forever.

But I want to leave it on that sad note. That I don’t see anyone who really cares, seriously cares. We do these things, you folks care, you trying to help. But you talk to the members, they don’t care.

Herbert Isonaga's interview courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Herbert Isonaga.

All rights to the reproduction or use of content in the Hawaii Nisei web site are retained by the individual holding institutions or individuals.

Please view the Hawaii Nisei Rights Management page for more information.