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Wyoming Center Tells Story Of Japanese-American Internees

Offbeat  (tags: Japanese-Americans, World War II, relocation center, sufferings, Wyoming, enemies, threat, military threat, racial discrimination, racial profiling, wartime hysteria, concentration camp, war, HumanRights, freedoms )

- 2752 days ago -
Nob Shimokochi still remembers the hardship he suffered as a Japanese-American during World War II. He is one of more than 14,000 Japanese-Americans who were taken to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Myoming almost 70 years ago.


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T. A. H (39)
Saturday September 3, 2011, 10:57 pm
Yes, my father's family lived in California's central valley and has memories of friends of his, with whom he played baseball, being behind the fences of the local interment camps. To America's credit, she did attempt to make reparations for this injustice by granting each surviving individual a monetary sum -- sometime in the 1990's I believe. This remains a shameful part of our history; one which I hoped we had grown past. But, the reaction to 9/11 by some people attacking Muslims is simply a repeat of this same wish for revenge extracted against innocent citizens.

Cam V (417)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 12:25 am
My wife was working on the history of this lake area where we camp here in British Columbia, Canada and found out there was a camp not far from here for the Japanese in the 1940's. People held jobs outside of the camp and came and went rather freely here in Canada. We tended to copy what America did but never took things very seriously. One of the Japanese families were from the Kawkawa lake area and the locals tended their property for them while they were gone.

Sad time in the history of our countries for sure. Never should have happened.

Naoko i (257)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 12:50 am
Sorry, I cannot send you a green star yet (this week) to you, Ann, for your very well said and kind comment. And Cam, your is on the way !!

Alexandra Rodda (180)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 4:46 am
Sad memories. Good that they can express and record them.

. (0)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 5:37 am
I'm glad to see that this Center was designed by the former internees themselves. It was a shameful part of U.S. history and needs to be remembered.

I've never understood the "why" of the internments - although in wartime obviously any enemy aliens need to be deported, American citizens are American citizens. Period. And while the events at Pearl Harbor undoubtedly had feelings running high against those who perpetrated that attack, that still doesn't make it right or even really understandable. Since American citizens didn't attack us - Japan did.

Myron Scott (70)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 8:36 am
War can do terrible things even to good people. A few years ago, I visited Eleanor Roosevelt's house near FDR's family home in Hyde Park, NY. (Eleanor had her own space at Hyde Park.) There was a sound recording of Eleanor during WWII, and there was her voice, the voice of someone as close to saintliness as it gets in the world of politics, speaking angrily about the "Japs."

It's hard to wage war against other human beings without demonizing them, even the ones who actually are U.S. citizens. That's why it's so important to distinguish between enemy leaders and ordinary people, to avoid "collateral damage" and to never forget what that sterilized term means in human terms, to avoid judging an entire people because of the bad actions of some. In today's context, that means realizing that even drones are weapons of war, that not all Jews are militaristic Zionists, and that Islamophobia is always wrong.

Bob P (394)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 12:52 pm
Thanks for the post Naoko

Ellen m (215)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 1:24 pm
A sad chapter in american history, nut i'm glad the story lives for future generations.

Fred Krohn (34)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 4:48 pm
The 2nd World War brought out the worst in all our civilisations.

Linda E (137)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 5:33 pm
We must always remember what our nation was capable of in its hardest times, so we can never repeat these mistakes again.

Jose Ramon Fisher Rodriguez (13)
Sunday September 4, 2011, 11:26 pm
Thank you for the post. I wonder when the shameful story of these camps will be taught in school.

. (0)
Monday September 5, 2011, 6:31 am
Jose Ramon, the story of the Japanese internments is indeed taught in schools. I was taught about it in elementary and high school back in the 1960's and 1970's and it's certainly being taught today.
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