2020 – Out with the Old, in with the New Year

As we have reached the end of the year, it is customary to have a look back at the main events that makes each year different from the previous…

Nothing new…

2020 certainly has no comparison in living memory. The last global pandemic, the Spanish flu, raged across continents over 100 years ago. Those who were born at that time and still around today would have been too young to have any real memory of it.

There have been other difficult periods in the course of this century that people found ways to cope with. In that respect, 2020 isn’t unique: we did all find ways – mostly – to deal with the challenges of having our daily routines thoroughly interrupted and our ability to move around as we please severely curtailed.

New solutions

Just like the challenges of the previous century sparked new solutions and ways of living, so does the current crisis. Where the First World War saw the introduction of new techniques in reconstructive surgery to mitigate the severe damage done by shrapnel and the Second World War introduced women in the workplace in vast numbers, the Covid-epidemic has supercharged the development of vaccines through international cooperation and forced the crafting of digital alternatives to work and leisure.

Some of those “new ways” will diminish in importance over time or disappear again altogether, others will stick around to become part of the “new normal”. Working from home is now undeniably common across many sectors and therefore likely to stay. That doesn’t necessarily mean a dystopian future where all social interaction is reduced to on-screen contact. We may be all too happy about not being stuck in the morning commute, but it turns out we do miss those water cooler moments!

New ways to travel

Where travel is concerned, most of us are chomping at the bit to get out again. Here too, digital solutions have brought some relief from being tied down and given access to far-away places. They also made it possible to introduce them to a different – especially younger – public.

Those organisations involved with preserving the Nisei Legacy have come up with some great, creative ways to continue their missions, from collaborations with local artists to make merchandise attractive to a younger public and featuring Torchbearers during the virtual Evening of Aloha by the Go for Broke National Educational Center, to pivoting their Nisei Soldier curriculum and launching the NextGen Series by the National Veterans Network. No doubt many others staged brilliant initiatives as well.

There have been no tours to the European battlefields this year. We do hope that the New Year will present a different picture. Vaccination programs across the globe and a total relaxation of travel bans will take some time yet. In the meantime, Nisei Legacy Tours will continue to look for ways to preserve the European bonds with the Nisei and their families in alternative formats.

New Year travel
Joe Hayashi – killed near Tendola

If you follow our Facebook Page you have already seen the videos showing Bruyeres and the Gothic Line. Intermittent lockdowns and travel bans permitting, we intend to continue providing the “European connection”.

New Year

But we want to take it further! Yes, we do hope to start seeing friends and families of the Nisei veterans in Europe again in 2021. Until that is possible, we want to provide you with what interests you the most. Do you have a few moments to spare to let us know what you want to see on our platforms? If so, please fill out this short – it really only takes seconds to do! – survey. We would really appreciate it. Thank you for your input!

Meanwhile, we want to wish you all the very best for 2021. We keep our fingers crossed that it will bring you nothing but happiness, health and increasing opportunities to meet up with loved ones in person again.

Happy New Year and keep following the Go for Broke Spirit!


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