Sharing History

by Linda Okazaki

Maru, Sid and Tee

There is nothing quite like travelling in the footsteps of ancestors to make their experiences come to life. But listening to living family members tell their stories is something else entirely. Most genealogy research is all about the past, the very distant past. But for the Japanese Americans who were interned, their history is still alive.

It was with both sadness and delight that I videotaped three former internees, siblings who were American born teens when they were forced to evacuate their homes in 1945. Maru, Sid and Tee reminisced about the good times and the bad before, during and after World War II. Listening to them share stories was a special event. Geography and age make frequent visits difficult. I was honored to experience their memories and affection for one another during an intimate afternoon without interruption. Imagine what their children, grandchildren and future descendants will learn from their stories.