My Beautiful Mother Yuki

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Yukiko Julie Yuki
Fukuda Israel

Tribute by J.J. Israel

My mother’s birthday was December 7th, 1921. As you can imagine, it was not a joyful way to celebrate her special day ever since the fateful Pearl Harbor devastation occurred. My mother’s father (my grandpa) Mataemon Fukuda came to the United States to enlist in the U.S. Army. He fought in WWI and he was proud of his military participation. However, when he, his wife, and four children were rounded up as prisoners during WWII, this crippled his spirit.

A short 3 years after their release, grandpa died of a broken heart, according to my mom. Hypocritically, Grandpa’s patriotism was acknowledged posthumously as he was buried at the Veteran’s National Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA. This historical blight must never be forgotten and more than that, it should be highlighted for future generations. What a shameful chapter in our history yet, by the nature of the Japanese spirit, they carried on with courage, dignity and grace. I’m so proud and humbled by my family.