Dear Tsuru Friends and Supporters,

With all that is going on in the world and the necessary postponement of our Tsuru for Solidarity Caravan and Pilgrimage to Close the Camps, I thought it would be important to reach out to you personally to let you know that all of us working on behalf of Tsuru for Solidarity are thinking about you. It has been disappointing for all of us to pivot and redirect our efforts to deal with so much sudden and dramatic change, but as in any crisis, this corona virus pandemic is calling on us to be our best.

There is so much news about the impact socially, economically, and personally for each and every one of us. It is easy to get wrapped up in the daily news report and climbing numbers of people falling victim to the disease. It’s easy to fall into a state of constant anxiety, stress and fear. So please take a deep breath, look around you and find something or someone you are grateful for as you face these difficult times. 

Right now I’m remembering my grandfather Mitsui, an Issei who came to America, escaping poverty in Nagano-ken with hopes of fulfilling the familiar immigrant dream. He worked hard as a section laborer for the Great Northern Railroad. He told me stories about how the Japanese laborers were sent out under the worst of conditions and the most dangerous of circumstances to save the trains that were snowbound in the Northwest mountain tops. I would later learn of the cruel physical and emotional abuse that racism played in spite of his desire to be a good citizen. I’m grateful that he never gave up. That his determination and will made it possible for him to not only survive, but to raise a family of contributing members of society. 

Somewhere deep inside of me lays that same determination and will. And I believe none of us Japanese American descendants would be here today if we didn’t each carry that Issei tenacity. So it’s time to call on that part of us to be the very best we can today to be kind, patient, loving and strong leaders for our families and our community. Let’s each take the lead to be helpful to others even during this time of social isolation, to reach out to those by phone or internet who may be isolated, to offer comfort to those who are struggling to overcome their fear. It may be a family member or a total stranger. Such actions are contagious and more powerful than any disease virus that comes our way. 

We are in a state of rare awareness of the interdependence of all things. Dear Friends, stay safe by practicing social distancing, stay healthy, and stay in community. We at Tsuru for Solidarity are sending you loving thoughts and deep appreciation for your support. 

We are committed to use this time to continue with our mission to Close the Camps. We will not be deterred. We are already planning new solidarity actions for this moment and we will be in touch soon to invite you to join this effort.

Gambarimashō!

Satsuki Ina and the Tsuru for Solidarity Team

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