Last week, The News Tribune reran an editorial that they had printed in December 1941, just days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The entire thing is an interesting editorial, but what caught my attention was a paragraph about Yuysohi Okada, a Sumner High School senior, who asked to lead the Pledge of Allegiance because he was an American. The article indicates that students and teachers followed him, many with tears in their eyes and a new feeling of fellowship. (In 1941, they said “brotherhood.”) Remember, this story happened and ran before the internment happened.
This year has been Sumner’s 125th year as a city. Throughout 2016, we’ve been highlighting historic pictures and stories of Sumner. Of course, we tended toward the funny milestones and quirky incidents that showed how much has changed, or not, over the years. After reading the editorial with Mr. Okada’s story, it seems fitting to end the year by acknowledging that, like any place, not all of our history is funny, cute and quirky. There are some very dark times, like the start of World War II and the internment of Japanese citizens. Yet, even in our darkest hours, there are wonderful stories of people coming together to support each other. That’s something I hear about time and again about the Sumner community. Sometimes it’s the toughest times that actually bring out the best in people.
To everyone in Sumner, for the good times and the challenging days, thank you. For your increased support of each other in the face of world-wide catastrophes, thank you. For 125 years of parades and picnics, world wars and windstorms, moments and memories, thank you. Here’s to the next 125 years in Sumner.
Mayor Dave Enslow