Combating suicide among war veterans, Janice Mirikitani, National Military Family Association, Poem “Jungle Rot and Open Arms”, Veterans Day, Vietnam War Veteran, World War II Internment of Japanese Americans
Wounded War Veteran with wife at the Walter Reed Medical Center
Photo Credit: Cherie A. Thurlby / National Military Family Association
November 11 is Veterans Day. It’s an official American holiday to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The date marks the anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918.
To commemorate this day, my Poetry Corner November 2014 features the poem “Jungle Rot and Open Arms” by Janice Mirikitani, a sansei or third-generation Japanese American born in 1941 in Stockton, California.
Janice Mirikitani’s life was touched by two wars: World War II and the Vietnam War. As an infant during World War II, she was interned with her family and other Japanese American families in the Rohwer Relocation Center in Arkansas.
At the end of the war, to avoid the racism still prevailing on the West Coast, Mirikitani’s family moved to Chicago. Her parents’ marriage did not survive the tumult in their lives. Writing became a source of comfort for the fledgling poet. Continue reading