My name is Linda Toyota, a member of the Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States, daughter of parents who were interned during World War II, whose father and two brothers served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, one of whom died serving his country. My father passed away last year at the young age of 93. Throughout his life, he showed his loyalty as an American by only buying American products.
I am asking your consideration to make two changes in the High School TEKS.
Recommended change to High School U S History TEK 113.41 (c)(7)(D):
“analyze major issues of World War II, including the Holocaust, the internment of Japanese Americans, the treatment of German and Italian Americans and the development of conventional and atomic weapons;”
Reason: The distinction of the treatment of the Japanese Americans was significantly different than the German and Italian Americans as stated previously by Dr. Grubb. President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. During World War II, 120,000 Japanese Americans were removed from their homes on the West Coast and incarcerated in concentration camps. In 1988, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians concluded that the internment of individuals of Japanese ancestry was based upon racial prejudice.
Recommended change to High School U S History TEK 113.41 (c)(7)(E) to include the rescue of the Texas Lost Battalion:
“analyze major military events of World War II, including the Battle of Midway,
the U.S. military advancement through the Pacific Islands, the Bataan Death March,
the invasion of Normandy, the rescue of the Texas Lost Battalion, fighting the war on multiple fronts, and the liberation of concentration camps;”
Reason: The 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Battalion fought in 8 major campaigns in Italy, France and Germany and places such as Bruyeres, Belmont and Biffontaine. It was there that the 442nd/100th fought a key battle in rescuing the Texas Lost Battalion as previously stated by Dr. Grubb.
Despite their families who were incarcerated behind barbed wire, the Japanese Americans showed their courage, patriotism and meaning of citizenship by serving in the U.S. Army.
It is for these reasons I ask you to consider making these two changes in the amendments.
Let me leave you with the following words from the Japanese American creed from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team handbook:
“Because I believe in America and I trust she believes in me, and because I have received innumerable benefits from her, I pledge myself to do honor to her at all times and in all places; to support her constitution; to obey her laws; to respect her flag; to defend her against all enemies, foreign or domestic; to actively assume my duties and obligations as a citizen, cheerfully and without any reservations whatsoever, in the hope that I may become a better American in a greater America.”