the women of world war ii memorial

Legacy of World War II on the Philippines

In early 1946 Japan’s General Tomoyuki Yamashita was tried as a war criminal and hanged by order of MacArthur. In 1986, a salvage group located the wreck of a Japanese ship containing $500 million worth of treasure in Filipino waters. The ship was sunk in World War II.

In 1994, President Fidel Ramos had hoped to turn the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Leyte into a sort of an Asian version of the D-Day commemoration at Normandy. President Clinton and MacArthur’s 92-year-old widow were invited to event but neither were able to attend. In their place came the U.S. Secretary of State William Perry and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili.

After World War II and independence, the United States Congress reneged on promised to give benefits to Filipino soldiers who fought on the Allied side against Japan. In 2009 Associated Press reported: “Men and women from the Philippines were promised recognition and benefits when they enlisted to fight alongside US troops during World War II. Many of those honors are only arriving now, 64 years after the war ended. The Fil-Am veterans are also set to receive long-awaited benefits that the United States pledged during the war. [Source: Associated Press, June 7, 2009]

“Some 250,000 Filipinos enlisted in 1941 to help defend the Philippines, a US commonwealth at the time. They were promised that they could become US citizens if they chose, and receive benefits under the G.I. Bill. The US Congress took away that offer in 1946 when the Philippines became an independent nation. Congress passed legislation in 2009 rewarding the soldiers for their service with $9,000 payments for non-US citizens and $15,000 for those with citizenship. In 2009, about 18,000 Filipino veterans, many in their 80s and 90s, were still alive. Ravaged by old age and disease, they were dying at the rate of 10 a day, officials said. “ [Ibid]

Carlos H. Conde wrote in the New York Times, “Unlike in other countries where the war’s end brought renewal and hope, there is a strong sense in this country that the war victimized Filipinos twice over, that its horrifying toll went beyond the destruction of its cities. If the war destroyed 80 percent of the Philippine economy, its consequences - the reparations, the ensuing relationship between Manila and Tokyo, the Cold War, the rise of Ferdinand Marcos, who exploited Japan’s postwar penitence and benevolence and almost single-handedly repaired relations with the Japanese - damaged Filipinos even further, diminishing their sense of pride and their ability to appreciate their past and learn from it. [Source: Carlos H. Conde, New York Times, August 13, 2005 +=+]

“In short, World War II left the Philippines devastated long after it ended, historians and sociologists say. This damage, they say, defines the modern Filipino: poor and lost, perpetually wandering the globe for economic survival, bereft of national pride, and - like the women of Mapanique - forced to suffer, to this day, the indignities of their violation. “Filipinos have a very short historical memory,” said Ricardo Trota Jose, the country’s foremost scholar on Philippine-Japan relations, who teaches history at the University of the Philippines.“ +=+

Writing Research - World War Two

World War II (WWII or WW2), also known as the Second World War, was a global war. It is generally considered to have lasted from 1939 to 1945, although some conflicts in Asia that are commonly viewed as becoming part of the world war had begun earlier than 1939. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations —including all of the great powers —eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis.

It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people, from more than 30 different countries. In a state of “total war”, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the first use of nuclear weapons in combat, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history. [1]

Names

  • Social Security - Top Names of the 1940s
  • British Baby Names - Top 100 Names in England and Wales in 1944
  • Essential Baby - Top 100 Australian Baby Names in 1940
  • Baby Med - Top German Baby Names in 1940s
  • About.com - Japanese Baby Names for 1915 - 2000
  • Popular Japanese Names in 1945 - 1949 (In Japanese - Use Google Translator)

Society & Life

  • Wikipedia - Conscription in the United States: World War II
  • History.com - United States Imposes the Draft
  • The National WWII Museum - The Draft and WWII
  • Swarthmore College - Military Classifications For Draftees
  • The Art of Manliness - World War II Fitness Test
  • World War Two Gyrene - Recruit Training in World War II
  • The New York Times - The Old Army, It Turns Out, Was the Fitter One
  • National Park Service - The War Relocation Camp of World War II
  • History.com - The U.S. Home Front During World War II
  • History Learning Site - Britain’s Home Front in World War Two
  • Wikipedia - Japan’s Home Front During World War II 
  • Wikipedia - Germany’s Home Front During World War II
  • Canadian War Museum - Life on the Homefront
  • Canadian War Museum - Women and the War on the Home Front
  • Reddit: Ask Historians - How was it that Sweden managed to stay neutral during WW2?
  • Reddit: Ask Historians - What was going on in Ireland during World War II?
  • Canadian War Museum - Canada and the Second World War
  • Mount Allison University - Canada’s Role in WWII
  • Wessels Living history Farm - The Home Front in Rural America During World War II
  • Living Family History - Living in the 1940s (Australia)
  • BBC - WW2 People’s War: My Memories of My Childhood in South London
  • BBC - WW2 People’s War: Growing Up in London 1939-45
  • Time Witness - Memories Project: Stories from the 1940’s
  • BBC - The Blitz
  • History.com - Worst air raid on London
  • EyeWitness to History - The London Blitz, 1940
  • LIFE Magazine - World War II: London in Color (Photos)
  • Local Histories - Life in Britain in The Second World War
  • Telegraph - WW2: Former Evacuees Look Back
  • British Council - A 1940s Childhood in Wartime
  • The Wartime Memories Project - Evacuees
  • My Learning - Children’s Experience during WWII
  • Imperial Wartime Museum - Children During the Second World War
  • Reddit: Ask Historians - It’s 1940, a lovely day in England and I want to write to my German cousin. Was that possible? What was international communication between the civilian populace of warring WWII powers like?
  • The New Yorker - The New Yorker in the Forties
  • The Atlantic - World War II: The Battle of Britain
  • The Guardian - Children of the Wartime Evacuation
  • NY Daily News - 1940 New York census records are now searchable by name
  • New York Historical Society - WWII & NYC
  • About.com - World War II In Brooklyn: Places to Visit
  • New York Historical Society - New York during WWII (Photos)
  • Wikipedia - History of New York City, 1946-77
  • Business Insider - Take A Tour Of Manhattan In The 1940s (Photos)
  • Madison Magazine - Ida’s Wyman’s Photography Documents Life in the 1940s and ‘50s
  • Growing up in Inwood, New York City in the 1940’s and 1950’s
  • Reminisce Magazine - Brooklyn Stoop Served as Sisters’ Stage
  • NY Times - Working-Class New York Life and Labor Since World War II
  • Wessels Living History Farm - Rural Life in the 1940s
  • Historic Color Photos of U.S. Life in the 1940s (Photos)
  • Wessels Living History Farm - WWII Causes a Revolution in Farming
  • Partners in Winning the War: American Women in World War II
  • World War II: Women and the War
  • Building Bombs & Planes
  • Women in World War Two
  • Wikipedia - Canadian Women in the Second World War
  • Canadian War Museum - The Canadian Women’s Army Corps, 1941 - 1946
  • About.com - Canadian Women in World War II
  • Veterans Affairs Canada - The Second World War: Canadian War Brides
  • Global News - Looking back at the role women from western Canada played in World War II
  • Canadian Red Cross - History of Women in the Red Cross
  • Women Under Fire in World War Two
  • How did women fulfill their romantic/sexual needs during WWI/II?
  • Women at War
  • Life During World War II
  • Everyday Life During World War II
  • World War 2 - Growing Up in Wartime
  • Wartime Homes
  • World War 2 - Blackout Time
  • What was it like for children?
  • The Huffington Post - Memories Of 1940s Childhood
  • The Life of a Teenage Before and After World War II (PDF)
  • School and War Work
  • I’m a 13-15 year old in 1939 USA. What is youth culture like during this time?
  • A Black Nurse, a German Soldier and an Unlikely WWII Romance
  • What was it like to be in the Forces?
  • World War II - A Soldier’s Daily Life
  • My Army Service in World War II
  • WWII: A Soldier’s View
  • Loose Lips Sink Ships
  • Eye Witness To World War Two
  • World War II First Person Accounts, Letters Home, Diaries, & Journals
  • Pictures of African Americans During World War II (Photos)
  • Daily Life of the Average African American in the 1940’s
  • Veterans Affairs Canada - Second World War: Black Canadians In Uniform
  • The Memory Project - Black Canadian Veterans of the Second World War
  • University of Washington - Japanese Canadians During World War II
  • Vancouver Public Library - Chinese-Canadians in World War II (1939-1945)
  • Canada at War - Video & Footage: World War II
  • Canadian War Museum - Canadian Newspapers and the Second World War
  • Veterans Affairs Canada - Second World War: Diaries, Letters, And Stories
  • Library and Archives Canada - Canada and the First World War: War Diaries
  • Veterans Affairs Canada - Second World War: My Grandmother’s Wartime Diary
  • The Canadian Letters and Images Project - WWII
  • McGill University Library Digital Collections - Canadian War Posters Collection
  • World War II Military (Photos)
  • World War II Records
  • World War 2: A Day in the Life of a German Soldier
  • The Life During World War II
  • Nazi Germany
  • The Role of Women in Nazi Germany
  • Diary of Second World War German Teenager
  • Germany During World War II: A Child’s Experience (PDF)
  • Reminiscences of a German World War II Veteran
  • What kind of physical training would a German soldier in WWII have to do?
  • Jewish Life in Europe Before the Holocaust
  • The National WWII Museum - WWII and Holocaust Bibliography
  • Blacks During the Holocaust
  • Conditions for Polish Jews During WWII
  • Understanding the Treatment of Jews during World War II
  • There’s a lot of close-to-combat photographs from WWII, but I don’t often hear much about the photographers. Were WWII war photographers armed? Were they subject to neutrality/immunity/respect? Were they deployed with soldiers as part of the army?
  • World War II Weapons
  • List of World War II Weapons
  • Canada at War - WWII: Weapons & Arms
  • Small Arms Pt. II - The World War Two Era
  • Technology During World War II
  • WWII Military Ranks
  • WWII Japanese Soldier Diary
  • World War II Japanese Military Training
  • Canadian War Museum - The Second World War: Information, Propaganda, Censorship and the Newspapers
  • When was the last shot of World War 2 fired?
  • Post-War American Life: Culture of the late 1940s & 1950s
  • Library of Congress - Postwar United States, 1945 - 1968
  • American History: Life in the US After World War Two
  • Student Pulse - America in the Post War Period
  • PBS - Women and Work After World War II
  • PBS - New York After WWII
  • BBC - Life in Britain after WW2 (Video)
  • The Atlantic - World War II: After the War
  • Digital History - Overview of the Post-War Era
  • Mount Holyoke College - Background of Post-WWII German History
  • Youtube - Germany After WW2 | A Defeated People | Documentary on Germany in the Immediate Aftermath of WW2 (Video)
  • Der Spiegel Magazine - Out of the Ashes: A New Look at German’s Postwar Reconstruction

Commerce

  • The Cost of Living in 1940
  • Prices and Wages in 1930 - 1939
  • The People History - Food, Groceries and Toiletries in the 1930s: Prices
  • The People History - Clothes in the 1930s: Prices
  • Library at University of Missouri - 1940-1949 Prices and Wages
  • The People History - Food, Groceries and Toiletries in the 1940s Prices
  • The People History - Clothes in the 1940s Prices
  • Datafiles of Historical Prices and Wages
  • Curbed NY - What Would $50 In 1940 Rent A New Yorker Today?

Entertainment & Food

  • What did people eat in the Second World War?
  • Why was food rationed?
  • Rationing
  • World Ward II - Food and Shopping
  • Food on the Front Home
  • Wartime Recipes
  • What Did Children Eat During World War 2? (PDF)
  • World War Two Recipes
  • History Cookbook - World War 2 Recipes
  • The 1940’s Experiment: 100+ Wartime Recipes
  • Retro-Housewife: In the 1940s Kitchen: 1940s Recipes
  • A 1940s Menu: Food in the 1940s
  • Food Timeline: 1936 to 1940
  • Vintage Food Advertisement of the 1940s
  • World War II: Rest and Relaxation (Photos)
  • Chocolate! The Wars Secret Weapon - America in WWII Magazine
  • Chocolate - Energizing Soldiers 
  • U.S. Coffee Rationing
  • The American Scholar: Rum and Coca-Cola
  • Wartime Canada - Food on the Home Front during the Second World War
  • Alberta Online Encyclopedia - World War II: Homefront in Alberta: Rationing
  • Wartime Canada - Recipe Ideas from BC Electric
  • Pop Culture Goes to War in the 1940s
  • WWII Guide: Wartime Hollywood
  • Rationing and Scrap Drives in Rural America
  • Baseball and World War II
  • Baseball Goes To War: The National Pastime in World War II
  • Entertainment in Britain During WWII 
  • Entertainment Industry During World War II
  • World War II on the Radio
  • Wartime Entertainment WWII
  • Wartime Entertainment
  • Canadian War Museum - Art and War: Australia, Britain and Canada in the Second World War
  • The Forties and the Music of World War II
  • World War II Songs
  • Music 1940 - 1949
  • List of Billboard Number-One Singles of the 1940s
  • American Music During World War II
  • Role of Music in World War II
  • Entertainment in 1940 - 1949
  • Food Rations in the Japanese Forces
  • Makeshift Cooking, German Army, WW2
  • Radio in Nazi Germany
  • Newspapers in Nazi Germany
  • Films in Nazi Germany
  • Art in Nazi Germany

Hygiene, Health & Medicine

  • Medicine and World War II
  • Social Security - Life Expectancy from 1930s+
  • WWII Disease Table
  • History of WWII Medicine
  • The Use of Atabrine to Fight Malaria During World War II
  • The Use of Plasma During World War II
  • The Use of Morphine as a Pain Killer During World War II
  • Nursing and Medicine During World War II
  • The Army Nurse Corps in World War II
  • Equipment of a WWII Combat Medic
  • Personal Accounts of WWII Medics
  • WWII African American Combat Medics
  • Penicillin: Medicine’s Wartime Wonder Drug
  • Medicine in Germany, 1918 - 1945
  • World War II Exposures 
  • Controlling Disease during World War II, 1939 - 1944
  • Health on the Home Front - Health Care and World War II
  • WAR & Military Mental Health
  • Mentally Ill and Jewish in World War II
  • U.S. Veterans Affairs Lobotomized Soldiers After World War II
  • Lobotomy For World War II Veterans: Psychiatric Care by U.S. Government

Fashion

  • 1930-45 in Fashion
  • Clothing, 1930-45
  • Rationing Fashion in the United States
  • Fashion in the 1940s
  • 1940s Make-Up Guide
  • 1940’s Beauty Secrets
  • 1940s Fashion: The Decade Captured in 40 Incredible Pictures (Photos)
  • 1940s Rationing - Utility Clothing Fashion and Costume History
  • Women’s Clothing in 1940s
  • Fashion in 1940 - 1949
  • Fashion in the 1940s: Clothing Styles, Trends, Pictures & History
  • Fashion in the 1940s - Prices & Examples
  • What did they wear? Gas masks for all
  • What is Utility Wear?
  • The Front Line of British WWII Fashion
  • World War II and Fashion: The Birth of the New Look (PDF)
  • The impact of World War II on women’s fashion in the United States and Britain (PDF)
  • The History of Fashion WWI to WWII
  • Women’s Shoes in 1940s
  • Authentic WWII Era Hairstyle & How To
  • United States Army Uniforms in World War II
  • World War II German Uniform
  • List of World War II Uniforms and Clothing
  • Nazi Style
  • LIFE.com - Fashion in Post-War Paris

Dialogue

  • WWII US Naval Dictionary
  • Glossary of German Military Terms
  • Military Slang: Terms Used By Soldiers in WWII
  • FUBAR F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition: Soldier Slang of World War II (General Military)
  • Military Slang For WWII
  • List of Ethnic Slurs by Ethnicity
  • The Racial Slur Database - Germans
  • Morse Code
  • Military Time Chart for 24 Hour Time Clock
  • Converting Standard Time to Military Time
  • WW2 Civilian Slang
  • Teen Slang of the 1940s
  • 1940s Slang
  • Forties Slang
  • Words That Were: 1940–1949 (Canada)

Law Enforcement & Crimes

  • New Jersey State Police - History: 1940’s
  • New York State Police - History: 1940’s
  • Anaheim Police Department - History: 1940
  • Academia.edu - British Police Training in the 1940s and 1950s
  • Art Theft and Looting During World War II
  • Rape During the Occupation of Germany
  • War Rape in World War II
  • Allied War Crimes During World War II
  • Nazi Medical Experiments
  • World War II Crimes
  • Nazi War Crimes
  • German War Crimes Against Soviet Civilians
  • Nazi Crimes Against Soviet POWs
  • Execution of Women by the Nazi during World War II
  • World War II and the Holocaust
  • World War Two - German Prisoner of War Camps
  • List of WWII POW (Prisoner of War) Camps in Germany
  • German Prisoners of War in the United States
  • Japanese Prisoners of War in WWII
  • Sexual Slavery - Germany During WWII
  • German Military Brothels in World War II
  • Rape, Murder and Genocide: Nazi War Crimes as Described by German Soldiers
  • 1940s Crimes
  • History of Drug Abuse: The 40’s
  • 25 Vintage Police Record Photographs (Photos)
  • Grisly Crime Scene Photography of 1940s New York

This Veterans Day, remember to honor all the men and women who have worn the uniform and fought for our freedom. To all who answered their country’s call, we appreciate your sacrifice and thank you for your service. Photo at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall & Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. by National Park Service.

forbes.com
"Disgusting!," Cry Legal Experts: Is This The Lowest A Top U.S. Law Firm Has Ever Stooped?

In what is surely one of the most controversial civil suits ever filed in the United States, the Los Angeles office of Mayer Brown is trying to prove that the so-called comfort women – the sex slaves used by the Imperial Japanese Army in World War II – were no more than common prostitutes.

The suit has been filed on behalf of two Japanese-Americans, Michiko Shiota Gingery and Koichi Mera, plus a corporation called GAHT-US (a bizarre entity whose involvement must be a particular embarrassment to any decent person at Mayer Brown – more about this in a moment). At the center of the controversy is a Korean-funded memorial to the comfort women which was recently established in a park in Glendale, California. The suit suggests that the above named Japanese-Americans will suffer “irreparable injury” from “feelings of exclusion, discomfort, and anger” if the memorial is not removed.

Ken White, a prominent Los Angeles-based criminal attorney, [said]: “I cannot remember a lawsuit that so immediately repulsed and enraged…..This lawsuit is thoroughly contemptible. It should fail, and everyone involved should face severe social consequences.”

Strong words but White’s assessment is hard to fault. The indisputable historical record, after all, shows that countless women who served in the Imperial Army’s brothels were innocents seized at gunpoint in Japan’s erstwhile colonies and forced into sexual servitude. (Yes, of course, not all were innocents. The army’s first recourse was to professional prostitutes but even if every prostitute in the empire had volunteered for work in appalling conditions, there were far too few of them to serve the army’s needs. Japan’s war was vast, spread as it was across six time zones and involving at least six million men, most of whom seem never to have had any home leave.)

The new Comfort Women Memorial Peace Garden in Fairfax County honors women from Korea, China, the Philippines and other countries who were forced into prostitution by the Japanese army during World War II. Koreans say the memorial is a reminder of one of the worst cases of human trafficking –  a part of history that is important to remember in a county with more than 42,000 Korean American residents.

Read more via The Washington Post.

“74 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, we endure as a nation dedicated to affirming the inherent dignity of every person—even in the face of unspeakable violence. As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the day after the attack, "the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.” On this day, let us honor the memory of all who gave their lives so that President Roosevelt’s words could be realized, and let us resolve to uphold the legacy of our country, for which generations of brave men and women have fought and sacrificed.“ —President Obama on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

5

Memorial Day

On May 11, 1950, Congress issued a joint resolution requesting that the President proclaim a “Prayer for Peace” on each Memorial Day.  In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a federal holiday to be held on the last Monday of every May. 

The commemoration of fallen soldiers was originally called Decoration Day – a time to honor Civil War graves with flowers.  The first Decoration Day was observed on May 30, 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War. 

Over time, people adopted the name Memorial Day, and ceremonies were held across the country to honor all U.S. soldiers who had died at war. 

This Memorial Day weekend, we honor the men and women who have served our country.

Images:

George W. Bush stands with U.S. Army Major General Guy Swan for a moment of silence during the Memorial  Day wreath laying ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns. 5/29/06.

Harry S. Truman laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for Memorial Day ceremonies.  5/30/48.

Ronald Reagan attending a Memorial Day ceremony honoring the Vietnam Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. 5/28/84.

Dwight D. Eisenhower participates in the ceremonies for the internment of the Unknowns of World War II and Korea. Arlington National Cemetery. 5/30/58.

A bugler plays during a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery attended by John F. Kennedy. 5/30/63.

In 1943, Soviet housewife Mariya Oktyabrskaya got a letter from the military informing her that her husband had died in the Battle of Kiev two years earlier. Mariya didn’t shed any tears over her loss. The only thing she wanted to shed was Nazi blood. So she sold all her belongings and contacted the military with an offer: She would honor her husband’s memory by buying them a brand new T-34 tank to wreck Nazi shit.

She had one stipulation: She would be the one driving it.

5 Historic Acts Of Revenge More Epic Than Django Unchained

2

“Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day has its origins in the observances of organized women’s groups who would come together and use flowers to decorate the graves of loved ones who died in the Civil War.”

“WWI: Over 24,000 women served in World War I half of whom were nurses in the Navy, Army, and Red Cross.”

“WWII: From 1942-1945, while men fought in the battlefront of World War II, over 18 million women filled the civilian and defense positions created is the country’s shift to wartime productions.”

“Today: In Iraq, the front line is everywhere and everywhere in Iraq, women in the U.S. military fight. More than 155,000 of them have served in Iraq since 2003. This is 4 times the number of women sent to Desert Storm in 1991- and more than 430 have been wounded and over 70 killed. This is almost twice the number of U.S. military women killed in action in Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm combined.”

“Military Pioneers:

•During the Mexican War, Elizabeth C. Newcume, in male attire, was brought into military service at Fort Leavenworth in September 1847. She served ten months and spent time fighting Indians at Dodge City until her sex was discovered and she was discharged.

•The first woman to receive The Medal of Honor was Dr. Mary E. Walker, a contract surgeon during the Civil War.

•The first woman to receive The Purple Heart was Annie G. Fox while serving at Hickam Field during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec 7 1941.

•Loretta Walsh was the first woman to enlist in March 1917.

•The first military all women band was the Women’s Army Band organized at Fort Des Moines in 1942. It was led by then sergeant, MaryBelle Nissly.

•In 1967 Master Sergeant Barbara J. Dulinsky, who had volunteered for duty in Vietnam, reported to the Military Assistance Command in Saigon – the first woman Marine ordered to a combat zone.

•In 1990 Commander Darlene Iskra became the first woman to command a U.S. Navy ship – the U.S.S. Opportune.”

Honor Memorial DayWorld War II Memorial, Washington DC

Today, May 25th, is the annual commemoration of all the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country. Keep them in your memory today, and always.

(Jeff Kubina)

9

Veterans Day

Veterans day, formerly known as Armistice day, was a day dedicated to the end of the “Great World War” (World War I). The end of the Great World War did not occur till June 1919, however the fighting stopped on November 11th, at the 11th hour, on the 11th Day, of the 11th Month. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the commemoration of Armistice Day to be filled with pride and heroism of those who perished and survived the fighting. Armistice was changed to Veterans in 1954 to not only honor World War I veterans, but honor all veterans from World War I, World War II, and Korea. Unlike Memorial Day (Used to Honor the Fallen Veterans), Veterans day is used to Honor Veterans themselves, particularly those who are still around. The day means a lot to me because, I am living, in America, able to practice what I want, get an education, and do something successful with my life…some kids don’t get that chance. So take a moment to think about all the men and women who have served and of the few who have payed the ultimate price so you could be here today. The day means a lot to me because, I am living, in America, able to practice what I want, get an education, and do something successful with my life…some kids don’t get that chance.

BOSNIA AND HERCEGOVINA, Srebrenica : A Bosnian woman © mourns at the freshly dug grave of her brother on July 11, 2015 at the Potocari Memorial Center near the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where 136 bodies found in mass grave sites in eastern Bosnia will be reburied on 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. Thousands of people were pouring into Srebrenica today to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of Muslims in the worst mass killing in Europe since World War II. The remains of 136 newly-identified victims were to be laid to rest alongside more than 6,000 others already buried at a memorial centre just outside the eastern Bosnian town.  AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF                        

Junko Akanishi: Conscript, Tactician, War Hero

1924-1945

Famed hero of the Wizarding World War, Junko Akanishi joined the Aurors of the  AWC in order to free her family from the strictures of the Japanese Observation Act of 1942.[1] Going against he family’s wishes, Junko, who had only the year before graduated from La Academic Occidental, stole away in the dead-of-night with her great-grandmother’s armor and the Buzado-sword forged by her great-great grandfather. Though Junko had received top-marks in combat-sorcery at school, she had no real experience in the arts of magical combat and had pursued a course of study in the arts and enchantments during her last two years of school.

In an interview near the end of the war, Madam Akanishi reflected that she was originally terrified of serving, but “dedicated to clearing the honor of her family, especially [her] father, who had long been a loyal and proud American and lost his own leg serving as a strike-wizard in the fight against Lady Temper’s undead hordes.” She certainly could not have guessed that she would become the hero of the War against the Necromancer.

With her particular knowledge of folklore and Japanese sorcery, it was Madam Akanishi who realized, several years into the conflict, that Kurosawa had used an ancient, Slavic ritual to remove his life-force and hide it safely away, making him an unkillable threat in the battlefield. [2] She was part of a special strike force sent to find and destroy the Imperial Magician’s heart and destroy it. The tale of Madam Akanishi and her allies’ journey to track down the offending organ and destroy it have become the stuff of AWC Legend. Junko became on the most lauded strategists of the war, and was responsible for introducing the use of paper-magic into combat situations with innovative combination of explosive Chinese runes and animated paper-cranes. It was also Junko who drove her grandfather’s spell-forged blade through the protective diamond matrix that surrounded Kurosawa’s heart, ending his reign of terror forever.

Saldy Madam Akanishi did not survive her heroic act. Even as she pierced the heart with her grandfather’s sword, a single shard of diamond pierced her own breast and immediately ended her life. A monument to Madam Akanishi and her team has been built in Circle’s Corner, in the District of Columbia, and her armor and sword are on display at La Academia Occidental in the main chapel. In 1945 the Akanishi Act was passed unanimously passed by Wizarding Congress, repealing the Japanese Observation Act and issuing reparations to those families who suffered under its strictures. Those Japanese-American wizards and witches who served with the Aurors during the war on behalf of their families were all awarded special commendations for their service.

[1] The strictures of the Act, which included constant observation by the Department of National Security and required strict curfews and limitations on movement and association, had only one escape: the conscription of at least one member of the family to fight the forces of the Necromancer Kurosawa. The conscription came with an unbreakable vow that bound the scion to service for the duration of the war, and made the life of the volunteer forfeit against the betrayal of their family.  

[2] It is believed Kurosawa learned the ritual sometime during or after conflicts between Russian and Japanese wizards in the early part of the century. The Necromancer had been on the front lines of that conflict from early on, and spent prolonged periods in the eastern territories of Siberia in his late twenties.

[Mod Note: It is, of course, Memorial Day, which is the day we are meant to remember all those who have given their life on behalf of the United States. While the history of the holiday is in debate, we, the mods, would still ask you take a moment today to remember those men and women who have given their lives in service. On an unrelated note, the picture above is actually of an onna-bugeisha, which is another awesome thing you might want to read about today!]

The real Monuments Men (and Women) worked to protect Europe’s cultural heritage during World War II. Learn more about them in a Twitter chat on Tuesday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m. ET hosted by the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National Archives.

Get your questions ready and join us on Twitter by following the hashtag #MonMenChat. RSVP here: http://on.fb.me/1kvRWTH

My Grandma was in the Navy in World War II. That was a very rare thing for women. They were called WAVES but they were still part of the Navy. She intercepted/interpreted messages as her way of serving her country. 

My Uncle (on my dads side) was in the Navy too. My step dad was Army. My ex husband was Air Force. I have been connected to the military my whole life. 

So I want to take a moment to thank the service men and women for their dedication and bravery. You are in my heart always. 

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July 14th, 2014: The first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, Alice Coachman Davis, has died at age 90 in south Georgia.

Davis’ daughter, Evelyn Jones, says her mother died early Monday morning in Albany. Vera Williams, a secretary at Meadows Funeral Home in Albany, says Meadows will be handling Davis’ memorial service but plans haven’t been finalized yet.

Davis won Olympic gold in the high jump at the 1948 games in London.While the games catapulted her to international acclaim and the first endorsement among African-American women, she had proven herself as a major track and field force in prior years. Many believe she would have dominated the 1940 and 1944 Summer Games, which were cancelled because of World War II. She was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004.

Davis attended Tuskegee University and won 25 national track and field championships — including 10 consecutive high jump titles.

She was the only American woman to win a gold medal at the 1948 games, and retired at age 25 after winning Olympic gold.

In honor of Memorial Day, we share the plaque erected at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building commemorating the men and women from NYPL who served in the armed forces during World War II. And  to all the heroes among us, we thank you.