SAVE THE DATE: 17th Annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner Sept. 8, 2018

DONATE Search Monument Name Locator

February 2017


President's Message

PresidentAs President for about nine months now, I have received nearly daily phone calls, emails, or personal comments thanking me for serving in this role. Initially, my narcissistic self would accept these supportive comments, and I would feel very good about myself. Very quickly, however, my rational self would take control of my ego and say, "It's not about you, bakatare! It's about something much larger."

I began to listen to these statements of gratitude and congratulations more closely. As I did, I heard the more important underlying message and feeling. In a nutshell, the message and feeling is one of appreciation for keeping the story alive. The sentiment is meaningful because it is not just a story of men who went to war. It is not just a story of valor and courage in the face of flying bullets and exploding grenades. It is not just a story of patriotism in the presence of oppression and racism. The story is much bigger than that.

As people tell me their stories, I can see the intensity in their eyes and feel the passion in their hearts. The stories they tell me are about their husbands, brothers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers, and friends. Occasionally, I will also hear the story of a WAC or a nurse so all gender roles apply. The stories are not just about names to be printed in a book or displayed on a plaque. The stories are about individuals who have unique backgrounds, made personal sacrifices and created lasting memories. The stories are about the most intimate thing that we all have—family.

Sometimes the stories have happy endings with veterans returning home to loved ones. Other times the stories are inspirational with veterans changing the sociopolitical environment of their communities. At times, the stories are simply heartbreaking—stories of a child who never met his father, of a young man seeing his lifelong buddy die, of heroes who returned home only to be called a "Jap." The thing that all of these stories have in common is that to someone, the story is personal. Together they make up the Nisei veteran legacy. Individually, however, they are the personal and cherished moments of people's families.

Now when I hear "thank you" and "congratulations," I know it is not about the position I occupy at Go For Broke National Education Center. It is about what each and every one of us does by being a part of this organization. We are all keepers of the Liberty Torch legacy. We are all keepers of its flame—a flame that burns intensely with the treasured memories of loved ones. So, to all who have such memories, thank you for entrusting them to GFBNEC. We will treasure them with you and keep the flame burning brightly.

Mitchell T. Maki, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Go For Broke National Education Center

Go back to the main eTorch page

Thank you in advance for your support...

Please provide us with your complete contact information by checking the "Share my information..." box on payment page. This will allow us to send you a tax write-off letter for your donation.

Add "In Memory Of" information in the special instructions box. A screenshot is shown below.

How to Donate "In Memory Of"Click here to continue