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We watched until the boats became a row of tiny white gulls on the horizon. Our vigil would end when they slipped over the edge and disappeared.
But this time they didn't disappear. They kept floating out there suspended, as if the horizon had finally become what it always seemed to be from shore: the sea's limit, beyond which no man could sail. They floated awhile, then they began to grow, tiny gulls becoming boats again, a white armada cruising toward us."They're coming back," my mother said.
"Why would they be coming back?" Chizu said. "Something with the engine." "Maybe somebody got hurt." "But they wouldn't all come back," Mama said, bewildered,
A fellow from the cannery came running down to the wharf shouting that the Japanese just bombed Pearl Harbor.
Mama yelled at him, "What is Pearl Harbor?" But he was running along the docks,like Paul Revere, bringing the news,and didn't have time to explain.
That night Papa burned the flag he had brought with him from Hiroshima thirty-five years earlier. It was such a beautiful piece of material, I couldn't believe he was doing that. He burned a lot of papers too, documents, anything that might suggest he still had some connection with Japan.
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