First Edition Memoirs

Grandfather and grandson at Manzanar


I love this photo of a grandfather and his grandson. Unfortunately, at the time it was taken, they were both interned at the Manzanar War Relocation Center, where the U.S. government sent Japanese-Americans during World War II for no reason other than their heritage.

The photo reminds me how important it is that we tell difficult and painful stories along with the carefree ones, partly because they are a part of history, and partly because it’s the painful stories that show our strength and compassion. If we don’t preserve our stories of tragedies like the Japanese-American internment, we’re doomed to repeat those mistakes, as the saying goes – but also, if we don’t tell those stories, we lose the tales of hope, compassion, and love that are inevitably woven into them.

I don’t know anything further about the man and boy in this photograph. I hope someone has saved the story of their ordeal and also of their obvious love for one another. That would be a story well worth reading.