College Students from Japan and the U.S. Attended the
Two winners of the essay contest held by US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc.,
Miss Asako Yoshida from Saitama, Japan and Mr. Adam Donais from
Washington state, attended the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor (ADBC) 2006
Convention held in Phoenix, Arizona from May 18 to May 21.
Asako and Ms. Yuka Ibuki, Tokyo
Representative of US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc., arrived in San Francisco. They visited
Mr. Hap Halloran, former B-29 navigator who became a POW when his plane was
shot down over Tokyo in January of 1945.
Mr. Halloran and Asako with
his POW number plate
On May17, Asako, Yuka and Kinue Tokudome
visited Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center
in Los Angeles, who is the advisor to US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc.
In Phoenix, Asako and Adam met Directors of
US-Japan Dialogue on POWs, Inc.
With Dr. Lester Tenney,
Mrs. Betty Tenney, Mr. Clay Perkins and Mrs. Dorothy Perkins
Asako and Adam
met with many former POWs and listen to their personal POW stories.
With Death March survivor Mr. Jim Murphy
With Death March survivor Mr. Abie Abraham
With Corregidor POW Father Phillips
With Corregidor POW Mr. Don Versaw
During the last evening's banquette, Asako and Adam were introduced by long time
ADBC leader, Mr. Edward Jackfert, to more than 300 attendees.
Their thoughts after the Convention
immensely grateful to have been able to meet the former POWs, their families,
Asako, and everyone involved in organizing this opportunity. Meeting the former
POWs allowed me a much deeper sense of the reality behind that which they
and I heard directly from the POWs regarding the Bataan Death March, Corregidor,
the O'Donell and Cabanatuan prison camps, the hell ships and the struggles these
men encountered since the end of WWII. These experiences are much more than
stories, they are insights into a world of atrocity and inhumanity that
challenged the right to existence and dignity of many people. A recurring
message to Asako and I during the convention was that we are the future and
should do what we can to prevent the lessons of the past from becoming a
forgotten memory so that such atrocities may never again be visited upon human
society. I am deeply impressed by their desire to embrace the future while
encouraging others to learn from the past.
-- Adam is interested in pursuing a career in Journalism.
I am sincerely
grateful to have been able to meet the former POWs, their descendants, Adam, and
all the people involved in organizing this opportunity. Hearing directly from
the former POWs made their experiences even more real to me. Even though they
endured tremendous hardship, they were very kind and generous. I was very
touched by their telling stories to young generations to sustain hope for the
future. As I learned the past, I came to realize their greatness. Learning from
their past gave me real insight into both negative and positive power that human
beings possess. To receive their story and its lessons well, I need to know much
more things. Now I am very motivated to learn more. Thank you again.
-- Asako is planning to
become a teacher.
Their essays can be read at: Essay Contest winners
Essay Contest was made possible by the generous support from Dorothy and Clay
Perkins of Ranch Santa Fe, CA.