LOS ANGELES - Tom Brokaw called them the "greatest generation" -- the men and women who served in the U.S. military during World War II. They fought against the forces of fascism defending the ideals of our democracy. We as Americans are deeply indebted to that generation.
I have a profoundly special debt to an extraordinary collection of men and women of that group of remarkable Americans. They are the Japanese Americans of the World War II generation.
Two events occurred last month on both coasts of this country that underscored the importance of my debt.
In Los Angeles, we commemorated the second year of the dedication of the "Go For Broke" Memorial.
This giant black granite cylinder, angled toward the southern sun, has the names of all Japanese Americans who served in the U.S. military etched into it. The "Go For Broke" name of the memorial comes from the motto of the all Japanese American unit, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. "Go For Broke" was their battle cry. They went "for broke" as they fought on the battlefields of Italy. They faced the fierce resistance of the Nazis in the Rhineland campaign in France and went "for broke." Their "Go for broke" determination helped crack the Gothic Line in the mountains of Apennines. The 442nd suffered the highest casualty rate and was the most decorated unit in military history. They gave it their all. This "Go For Broke" monument is also a tribute to all Japanese Americans who served in the U.S. armed forces -- in the Military Intelligence Service, in the 100th Infantry Battalion as well as with the 442nd. They are all amazing American heroes.
What makes their gallantry so extraordinary is that they served despite initially being classified as "enemy non aliens" by their own government simply because they "looked like the enemy." What makes them so amazing is that they wore the same uniform as that worn by the soldiers guarding over their families incarcerated behind the barbed wires of American concentration camps back in the U.S. What makes my debt to them so profound is that their valor under these incredible circumstances transformed America for me and my generation. These men and women unquestionably added another dimension to the meaning of Americanism. President Harry Truman, greeting them on the White House grounds on their return to the U.S. stated, "You not only fought the enemy but you fought prejudice -- and you won."
After the commemoration ceremony of the "Go For Broke" Memorial, I chatted with the veterans, proudly wearing their Veterans of Foreign Wars caps. Many were now unsteady in their steps. A few were in wheelchairs. Their thin and reedy voices had few words. They were modest in receiving our gratitude. The passage of time had altered the robust soldiers they once were. But I could see their pride beaming from their faces.
What they did over half a century ago had transformed this nation. Because of their incredible gallantry, their immigrant parents could, for the first time, become naturalized American citizens; their sons and daughters today are able to rise as far as their abilities could take them; live wherever they could afford to live and participate fully in the life of America. What they did on the battlefields of World War II gave substance to the campaign to win redress for Japanese Americans for their incarceration during that war. They indisputably made this nation a better democracy for all Americans. They did this with their courage, their blood -- and the lives of their buddies. The gratitude we felt was as big and as solid as the great granite memorial that stood in front of us.
I walked up to the monument and found the name of the U.S. Senator from Hawaii, Daniel Inouye.
He left his right arm on a bloody battleground in Italy. Last year, I attended the White House ceremony where, together with 21 others, he received a much belated Medal of Honor from President Bill Clinton for his heroism of over 50 years ago. Also on the monument I found the name of my mother's late cousin, Kay Kashiwabara. I touched their names with my fingertips and felt the grainy earthiness of the engraving. I stepped back to view the whole massive expanse of names etched onto the granite -- hundreds and hundreds of Japanese American names. Some died in battle. Some carried their wounds of battle throughout their lives. All served as Americans under the most incredible of circumstances. Staring at all those names, I whispered a silent "thank you."
The other event happened in our capitol, Washington, D.C. It was the commemoration of another monument to Japanese Americans, the National Japanese American Memorial. It is located on a triangular plaza just north of the Capitol. I could not be there in person for this ceremony, but I most certainly was there in spirit.
The granite wall of this memorial bears, not only the names of those Japanese American soldiers who perished in battle, but, as well, the names of all ten U.S. concentration camps scattered throughout the country from California to Arkansas where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during the war. The wall also carries quotations from distinguished Japanese Americans such as Senator Inouye, Cabinet Secretary Norman Mineta, and Congressman Robert Matsui.
The Memorial also holds a quote from the controversial wartime Executive Secretary of the Japanese American Citizens League, Mike Masaoka.
His is a stirringly patriotic quote. In part, it reads, "I am proud that I am an American citizen of Japanese ancestry, for my very background makes me appreciate more fully the wonderful advantages of this nation. I believe in her institutions, ideals and traditions; I glory in her heritage; I boast of her history; I trust in her future." He wrote this in 1940. It was a time of limited opportunities for minorities; educated Japanese Americans were working at fruit stands. It was a time of restrictive housing covenants that gave rise to the Little Tokyo and Japantown racial ghettos. And it was a time when the dark cloud of the internment of Japanese Americans was looming ominously on the horizon. Indeed, when Executive Order 9066 ordered the internment, Masaoka was so eager to "prove" his loyalty that he cooperated with the government in the mass removal of Japanese Americans. The anguished irony of his super patriotic words heightened the angst and the division that the internment order wreaked on the Japanese American community.
Masaoka's tortured patriotism had a balancing counterpart of bold Americanism. They were the young men who took a courageous stand on the fundamental principles of this nation. When they were ordered to serve in the U.S. military while interned, they took the position that they would serve willingly if they could report to their hometown draft boards and with their families back in their own homes.
But they refused to go from behind the barbed wire fences of incarceration leaving their families behind in U.S. concentration camps. It was an audacious stand. For this principled stance, they were tried in court, found guilty of draft resistance and sent to federal penitentiaries. After the war and after they were exonerated, many of them served with honor in the Korean War. Although these patriots' names are not on the Memorial, by the inclusion of Mike Masaoka's ironically extravagant quotation, I am reminded of and honor the gutsy integrity of these young men who resisted military service on very American principles.
I owe my America to all these men and women whom we honor with the two memorials on both coasts of this nation. I take my inspiration from their contributions together with all those who have contributed to the making of this country. The greatness of this nation is that it is a constant work in progress guided by the core ideals of our Constitution. The challenge of this nation is that we all can and must contribute to this great work in progress to make it a better and truer democracy.
Unfortunately, not every person is able to stay settled in one home their entire lives. Some people are constantly moving around.
Be it for a job, or as a lifestyle choice, the reasoning is never fully uniform. But it does cause a lot of stress, and it can be really helpful to have some guiding principles set up everywhere.
These people are here to help you with those.
Here were some of those answers.
Marie Kondo Would Be Proud
Take the opportunity to throw out garbage or stuff you don't need. Don't move useless stuff
And if possible start this process a few months before moving day. If you try to do it as you pack in the few days before the move, you'll run out of time.
Pack Those Tools Daddy Yas
Last thing packed and first thing unpacked should be tools, because something is gonna need to be disassembled or assembled and it helps if you know exactly where those implements are.
Tools. SCISSORS. Toliet paper. Paper towels. Small towel. Hand soap. Paper plates. Lightbulbs/flashlight. Some granola bars. Cleaning supplies. Backup chargers. Pen and paper (write out important numbers eg electric, gas, water, landlord, internet - assume your phone dies and you can't find charger or elec not on, what would you need).
Especially for a longer distance move, make and label the "OPEN FIRST" box as if you needed to live off it. Then if move has delays or other issues you can open that one and collapse.
Don't Be Keepin It All
Get rid of stuff.
Like, lots of stuff. If you have to wonder if you really want to keep it--you probably don't.
Give stuff away, take it to thrift shops, put it on give-away message boards...or just throw it away if you have to.
I move about every three years, and it's crazy how much unessential junk collects in my home.
There's nothing worse than unpacking in your new place and finding something you wish you hadn't just paid someone to protect and transport for you.
These tips and tricks will most definitely come in handy for you the next time you need to move.
Get a large trash bag and rip a hole in the bottom (about the size of your fist). Then take any clothes that you have on hangers and put them in the bag with the hooks of the hangers going through the hole you made. Put as many as the bag allows and then tie the bottom with the trash bag's drawstrings. Super easy way to transport hanging clothes, keeps them clean, and makes it super easy to re-hang them.
Makes A Difference
Hire movers if you can afford it
It seriously takes soooo much stress out of the whole process
Moved every year for about 7 years...only did movers the last few times
Wouldn't have it any other way now
New Digs, New Look, New Me
Most people are talking about the sh*t you physically pack here. For me the problem is address changes.
Whenever I have someone save my address information (e.g. Chewy, my dog's microchip manager, Work), I add them to like... OneDrive or Google sheets, and save the information there. When it comes time to change my address, I change it with my bank first, then go through and change it with the various services. I have a marker for whether it's no longer in use (to track things that had my address in the past), the login URL for the site and whether it uses my credit card information.
It doesn't necessarily have to be places that you do financial transactions with either. It sounds like a pain in the butt, and it is somewhat, but I have 55 different places I need to update my information with, and I move roughly once a year.
If you have a physical library add a couple of layers of books to each box rather than lumping them all together
Not only does this distribute the weight evenly making sure no boxes are overly cumbersome, but it also makes your boxes bottom heavy meaning they are less likely to tip over
You've definitely hassled with these before, but it can be really hard to actually know how to solve moving problems. That's why these tips are here.
Spread It Out Like BUTTAH
If you can afford to, always schedule an overlap of at least a week between when you can move into your new place, and when you have to be out of your old one, as opposed to trying to fit the whole move into 1-2 days. Packing, sorting, moving, and esp. cleaning the old place...makes the whole process *so* much less stressful.
To Settle Faster
Pack a first day box. Include the usual and... soap, toilet paper, shower curtain, snacks, good alcohol, paper towels, regular towels, a few change of clothes, blanket, pillow, few utensils etc.
Yeah, this is a great tip.
I extend this beyond the first day, to the last couple days before the move and the first couple days after the move. In other words, don't assume that you can pack and unpack everything in just a day or so. Give yourself time to start packing and preparing in advance, by separating the minimum set of stuff you need to keep living vs. the stuff that can you can pack in advance. I literally pack that minimum set of stuff into a duffel bag like I'm packing for a trip for a few days, and pack everything else up for the move.
No Throwing Backs Out Today Mama
Put heavier things in smaller boxes. A small box of books is easier to move than a large box. Don't just think of what fits in something, consider how heavy you can carry and try not to pack heavier than you can move
So whether or not you're moving, or you will have to move in the next couple of months--hopefully this list helps you with some of your more cumbersome and daunting tasks.
The stress of moving is literally unparalleled--besides with death and divorce--so having this little bit of support can truly make all the difference.
For anybody who's worked at least a few months in the food service industry, that adage that "the customer is always right" can be a total tease.
Yes, good customer service is important. We want people to enjoy their meal, tip well, and come back to pay more money in the future.
But sometimes a customer's entitled attitude can ruffle a waiter's feathers enough for them to take some *subtle* action.
Or, in many cases, a waiter may simply be careless enough to do something profoundly awful to a meal, whether there was some customer transgression or not.
Either way, it's best to have your head on a swivel and be as polite as possible whenever you find yourself giving your order to a hard-working server.
RegulatoryCapturedMe asked, "Restaurant workers of Reddit, what is the worst thing you have seen done to a customer's order?"
Some people chose to talk not about vindictive behavior, but mindless habits. These stories outlined all the gross things that happen behind the scenes because a cook just couldn't be bothered to keep things sanitary.
Floor + Griddle
"I worked at a popular fast food chain in my younger years, it was my first time with closing shift and we were all doing our part to clean and prep the store."
"I see this lady with a mop and bucket come out of the back, slop it on to the griddle and START MOPPING IT. I was appalled. I went and told the manager and she tells me well that's the quickest way to clean it then scolded me for worrying about things that didn't concern me."
"I quit that job next day and then called the district office and told them what happened. That location closed down not long after. But the franchise still exists."
5 Second Rule (x 50 = 250 Second Rule)
"Worked at a 50's style diner."
"Was prepping the chicken breasts for our burgers and dropped a tray of 50 and they slid right under the grill, easily the dirtiest place in the whole restaurant."
"My boss saw and had me pick them all up rinse them with water and re-season then and stick them back in the fridge..."
"No One Will Notice"
"I saw a waiter pour an orange juice, take a big swig with his lips on the rim, top it up then take it to the table." -- RegulatoryCapturedMe
"In college, I worked for a well known pizza place. One of our wait staff came to collect a pepperoni pizza, and nabbed a piece of pepperoni off the top before taking it out."
"He gets to the table, and everyone is staring at him in stunned silence. There's a very fine string of cheese going from the pizza to his mouth." -- DeeTee79
Others chose to highlight the times a co-worker was, indeed, straight up vindictive. These small acts of revenge were blatant, shameless, and often very gross.
A Symbolic Attack
"Worked in restaurants for over 10 years. It's pretty rare that you see people mess with someone's food but it does happen occasionally."
"The most memorable was once when a customer made a waitress cry complaining about their food and sent it back. The chef farted on the remake. It got a lot of laughs."
"More common is if a customer is an ahole, when they order dessert, you find the smallest slice of cheesecake you can."
The Brine Does Look Like Urine
"I know a guy that pissed in a bucket of pickles. He would have never been caught if he didn't talk about it." -- filthysquatch
"Welp. That's a felony." -- saltnskittles
"number 14 mcdonalds pi** pickles" -- LetsGeauxSaints
Some Burger With Your Pickles
"I had a buddy at mcdonalds, a real chaotic type, who every once and a while would say 'oh hey, guess what time it is... PICKLE SURPRISE!' and put a whole handful of pickles on a random cheeseburger." -- mattmoney31716
"Dude... I got like 9 fu**ing pickles on my regular tiny hamburger the other day.. I think he might still work there." -- vl8669
A Clear Policy
"At my last restaurant job, my coworker would make very ugly sundaes for customers who were rude."
"For particularly nice customers, she would painstakingly recreate the sundaes in the menu pictures and give them extra cream and sprinkles."
Finally, others were just as revengeful, but they took out their rage in a more subtle way.
Rather than ruin a meal completely in a brash, obvious way, these cooks and waiters simply listened to customers' order and gave them exactly what they asked for.
These stories remind that we should be careful what we wish for, especially if we've upset the waiter.
A Crowded Pie
"I gave them what they ordered. We were a pizza/Italian/bar restaurant. Our menu was ludicrously large and essentially anything that was on the menu that could go on a pizza was listed as a topping, probably 40 to 50 topping choices.
"I would get asked pretty often for 'a pizza with everything on it!' I had a usual joke or two to find out what they really wanted. Typically a deluxe but then they'd want no black olives or whatever. No big deal."
"Until the a**hole came in that that ordered 'everything' and then proceeded to ask if I was ret##### when I questioned him. My sister has disabilities so I didn't appreciate his tact... told my boss about it and he smiled and said get him a pizza with everything."
"Brought it out and gave it to him. He flipped out and demanded the manager of course. My manager had my back and gave the guy his bill which at $2 a topping was well over a $100 pizza. Guy refused to pay, cops got called, Yada Yada Yada. I hope he enjoyed his pizza with clams, pineapple, Buffalo chicken, broccoli, anchovies, green olives, cream cheese, cauliflower, jalapeños, shrimp..."
Flying Too Close to the Sun
"Some Indian guys came in one time and asked for us to make their food as spicy as possible. I told them that's going to be extremely spicy and wanted to make sure they knew what they were asking for."
"They went on a long rant about how Indian restaurants are the only places that actual know what spicy is and anything we bring out isn't going to be close to how spicy they like their food."
"So I had the owner come over to tell them that we'll try our best but there won't be any refund on this food if it's too spicy. So we made them chicken fried rice with Trinidad scorpion peppers. After 2 bites and about 10 glasses of soy milk later, they ordered something else."
Extra Extra Extra
"Wanted extra mayo so I maliciously complied by drenching it. Lady thought I would forget her fake $10 prayer tip the last time she was there." -- Dumfk
"Just keep one on hand for when you see those people again, give it back as their change, or if you care about/need your job, dont listen to me about anything." -- harpo555
It's a list that might leave you feeling rather paranoid about going to fast food or sit down restaurants in the future. But at least one preventative maneuver emerged as a common theme: be polite.
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People Explain Which Things They Thought Were Completely Normal As A Kid And Later Realized Were Really Weird
As much as adults regularly hammer home the importance of honesty with their children, parents are responsible for a significant amount of white lies and bent truth.
It makes sense. Parents are busy, they're human beings who grow impatient, and they find efficiency rather refreshing.
So it's no wonder they fabricate a few elements of "reality" here and there, all to make their kids act in a way that, typically, is well-adjusted for societal expectations.
But when those kids grow into adults, they learn to adopt the behaviors without the lies. And at that moment, the absurdity of their parents' myths all comes flowing to mind.
ancient_a**holed4 asked, "What normal thing in your childhood did you later realise was extremely weird?"
Many people shared some truly inventive, out of the box thinking. Most were the creative innovations of parents trying to keep everything running smoothly.
Tire Them Out Before Bed
"My mom taught me and my sister to howl at the moon. It would get our dog all worked up, and he'd howl too."
"It would make my grandma so mad, but my mom found it hilarious."
"My parents didn't want to shout our names for dinner or to come downstairs so my Dad installed a literal doorbell in our bedrooms."
"So if we were needed in the kitchen we were summoned by the 'child bell'. - we lived in a 2 bed semi."
A Very Fun Way to Enjoy Burgers
"Burger Roulette: every time there was a barbecue or we made burgers one of the burgers would be stuffed with hot sauce and peppers. So hilarious and definitely made dinners more exciting, but not a normal thing lol"
A Myth They Made On Their Own
"I think I only thought about this once, then completely forgot about it. When I was a kid (6-7?) I used to think 'brown people pooped brown poop, and white people pooped white poop.' "
"It never occurred to me that I had never seen a white sh** any time I went to the toilet, and so when I saw that someone had unfortunately forgot to flush the toilet (at school) and I saw the 'remnants,' I was immediately intrigued, since I was the only brown kid at that school, and I thought there was another brown person at my school, and I just hadn't seen them."
Other people came to understand that their parents' strange, often dishonest behavior or commentary actually had a very admirable motivation underneath it.
These were good stories that shed light on the honor of moms and dads.
"My mom used to have me practice screaming for help at the top of my lungs before going to friends houses ಠ_ಠ" -- lazydaisy2pointoh
"You know whilst this is weird it's also a good thing to teach kids to use their voice . They're told to shut up or be quiet so often that when they need to use their voice it's not natural to them" -- Ieatclowns
"Whenever I wouldn't wanna get shots my mom would say 'te lo van a poner en tu cosita si no lo dejas' which means 'they're gonna put the shot on yo di** if you don't comply' and the doc who didn't know Spanish was like 'yeah en tu cosita.'
A Boarding House
"Random kids living at our house."
"I had 9 siblings and my parents always had one or two other kids that had been kicked out of their homes living with us. Usually friends of my older brothers and sisters, it wasn't until my twenties that I discovered that most had been disowned by their parents for being gay."
"Also had no clue that this wasn't normal for the 60's."
Best Guy to Have Around
"It's a little thing, but it was very surprising to me - that it was my dad and not my mom who stayed home with me when I was sick."
"Also, my friends all had stories of their parents trying to get them to go to school even when they were sick. My parents never did that, and even let me stay home a few times even when they knew I was faking it."
"I know it's hard for a lot of working parents to stay home with a sick kid, but all my friends at the time were pretty much from the same middle-class background as I was, and my father was a hospital physician and the head of his division at the hospital and also saw a lot of patients, so it was not easy for him to miss work. I guess he handled a lot of stuff by phone (this was before the internet)."
"It's a little thing, but it really made me feel so cared for and I still associate staying home sick with getting taken care of by my dad who had an excellent bedside manner."
Finally, others discovered the flaws of their parents. These misunderstandings weren't the results of purposeful fibs on the part of parents.
Rather, the kids at the time couldn't conceive of a world in which their parents could screw up.
"Getting honked at, flipped off, and yelled at while driving. I just thought driving was this extremely aggressive and negative experience that made everyone angry."
"Turns out my dad was a serial tailgater who used to ride right up on people in front of us, regardless of the speed we were traveling. Highways, subdivisions, country roads, didn't matter."
"It wasn't until I began to learn to drive myself that it all made sense."
"My mom's cooking. She boiled noodles until they were mush. Her potato soup was boiled onions and potatoes drained then added to warm milk with salt and pepper. Baked beans were beans, ketchup, and pancake syrup."
"The most common meal in our house started as spaghetti, then became chili, and then chili mac."
"Vegetable soup was all the vegetables dumped straight from a can with no seasoning and the meat would be hamburger, canned roast beef, or canned corned beef with potatoes."
"A lot of the other stuff she cooked was pretty good, but that was only if she followed a recipe. If she winged it things got strange. My favorite will always be the grape soda bbq because she didn't have Dr Pepper."
Here's hoping you aren't still under the spell of any lies or half-truths that proliferated when you were a kid. But there's no harming in acknowledging just how long you lived according to them.
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Remember Theranos? It was a breakthrough technology company that claimed to have devised blood tests that required very tiny amounts of blood. The hype was real: In 2015, Theranos received a $9 billion valuation and its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, seemed prime to become a household name. Shortly afterward, she was exposed as a fraud; her trial (on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud) has been postponed several times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After Redditor LineofDeath asked the online community, "What was supposed to be the next big thing but totally flopped?" people reminded us how you should never fall for the hype.
"Now they are chiefly remembered..."
Quadraphonic entertainment systems in the early 1970s. They were supposed to replace stereophonic systems. Now they are chiefly remembered for inspiring the name of The Who's second rock opera.
Google+ was supposed to be the answer to Facebook.
Remember those days? That didn't end well for them, didn't it? The hype was real and it died as quickly as it began.
"I saw ads for it..."
That streaming service that lasted like two months. 'Qubi' or 'Qupi' I think?
Even bad timing aside (a mobile-based streaming service at a time when no one could really leave their house) the marketing was just horrible. I saw ads for it for nearly a week before I realized it was a new video streaming service, and by that point was so annoyed by the ads untrusting everything I didn't care at all, just out of spite. Also, I mean it was just YouTube you have to pay for and got worse content.
Not sure if this one has totally flopped yet, but I noticed while in Costco the other day that there are no longer any curved TVs. If Costco is no longer carrying them then I think we can assume they're going the way of the dodo.
"I thought it was a good idea..."
Google Wave. It was supposed to replace email with a more collaborative approach. Essentially it was like a dynamically-created discussion board you'd share with select people and you could have a more readable discussion than one with a bunch of forwards and CCs and the like.
I thought it was a good idea, but it flopped big time and Google got rid of it after a few years.
"They pushed really hard for those..."
Amazon's shopping buttons. They pushed really hard for those and I never saw the point.
They try a lot of things.
Not all of them are winners.
"It was supposed to..."
The Divergent series. It was supposed to kinda have a Hunger Games concept and all and try to be a replacement. The last two movies ended up being so unwatchable.
These were terrible.
When the actors gave up on them, you knew it was over.
"Now they're just used to..."
Segways were supposed to revolutionize travel and replace the automobile. Now they're just used for guided tours for dorks in tourist traps.
"These were the next, awesome way..."
Airship travel. These were the next, awesome way to travel long distances; in fact, the spire on top of the Empire State Building was meant as an anchoring point for airships.
The Hindenburg kind of put a damper on it, though.
"I had a friend in high school..."
I had a friend in high school who was preparing to go to film school. She swore up and down that 3DTV was the way of the future and one day all movies and tv shows would be in 3D.
The hype machine is a real thing...
...and you can't believe it all the time. Sucks to be the inventor... or the investor. (Looking at you, Quibi.)
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
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