Kalihi students meet WWII war hero

Nisei veteran Yanamura speaks to Farrington High School students

 UPDATED 6:59 AM HST Apr 04, 2013
Nisei veteran talks to high schoolers
HONOLULU -

History is coming alive for some Hawaii students. On Wednesday they listened to firsthand accounts of events most learn in history books.  Farrington High School students were able to meet with a World War II American war hero and hear his story in person.

Nisei Veteran Herbet Yanamura spoke to dozens of Farrington High School students about the war. He shared his story of the battle of Okinawa In 1945 where he yelled through a loud speaker asking a Japanese general to surrender.

"One of the threats that I made was that we are going to be pouring huge quantities of gasoline into the cave and we are going to light it," said Yanamura.

Just last year Yanamura found a diary kept by a survivor of that clash.

"He said he heard the threat I made that we would pour gasoline into the cave and we actually did," said Yanamura.

"When I read his story I thought 'Wow, only now I know that the call that I made was heard by the Japanese military people in the cave' ... I felt real great about that because I didn't know what happened," said Yanamura.

He wasn't sure if his personal story would leave an impact on any students, but it did.

"You feel it emotionally, and you feel the way he felt when he went through that experience, and it's really touching and it brings back the history," said Farrington High School senior Eric Arzaga.

It's an exhibit and history lesson brought to life that senior Arzaga says he'll never forget.

"We'll be the ones left behind to share the story, and we need to keep it living," said Arzaga.

The students were also able to see the Congressional Gold Medal during this visit to the Bishop Museum. Four other schools are scheduled to meet with WWII Nisei veterans throughout the week.

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