Letter: Never forget treatment of citizens
Monday, May 30, 2011
I grew up in Hawaii and witnessed first-hand the Pearl Harbor attack. My Japanese schoolmates and I were afraid and confused.
The parents of Japanese-Americans I knew were embarrassed and apologetic and tried to distance themselves from Japan.
Years later, after I moved to the mainland, I learned of the horrible actions taken by our government concerning Japanese-Americans.
The executive order for internment camps took citizens from their homes, separated some families, sent them to remote places, housed them in barracks surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire. These citizens lost their businesses and jobs. Half of the 120,000 were children.
The relocation was motivated by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria and the failure of our political leadership to protect all citizens. It has never been proven that there was espionage done by American Japanese.
No one should equate the camps where the American Japanese were sent to in this country and the prisoner-of-war camps that Japan ran during the war.
It is ironic that young Japanese men in the camps were drafted into the U.S. armed services.
If you are interested in historical facts, go to the library or to your computer and look up several books written by those who were in the camps during World War II.