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MinamiOld Minami

My name is Minami Satoh. I only had one true love in my life, and that was Hiroshi. He never had the chance to grow old with me. Nor did he get to see how his son grew up and the grandchildren that would follow. He would have been so proud.

Though I can only remember him when he was young, which does bring sadness to me but the happiness that I fondly remember for the short time we were together are timeless.

I still remember how we first met, I was so young then. The conditions for our first encounter were horrible. Oh how I remember that dreaded sand. During World War II, my parents, my two younger sisters and brother and I; along with Hiroshi and his parents and so many other Japanese American families, were all rounded up like cattle and placed into these horrible internment camps. They were more like prisons to be perfectly honest.

But despite this difficult time, when this country asked us to fight, my husband, Hiroshi Satoh, volunteered to fight. For reasons at that time that were not clear to me, I can say without a doubt that I am so proud of him. He was a true patriot.

So when my granddaughter Aiko, oh how beautiful and young she is now, with her whole life ahead of her, called me that day to ask about her grandfather, I was so touched. I rarely talked about my time in the camps, how hard it was on our family, let alone her grandfather, but I decided that I must. Before I lose the chance.

But I can’t tell her everything, as I have kept a family secret from everyone and no one further down the Satoh line should know. I have kept this secret with me for all my life and I’m pretty sure I’ve done that. At least I think I did.

Copyright © 2013 Vincent Yee. All Rights Reserved.