Wednesday, August 26, 2009
When I first moved to California, I had no knowledge of this shameful piece of US history. One of my co-workers in LA who was of Japanese descent mentioned to me that she grew up there during part of her childhood, and it was from her that I learned of the history of this place.
It is well worth a visit if you are in the area. It is so hot, dry and incredibly remote. Not so hard to imagine how awful it must have been to be forced to move there, leaving all the comforts of home behind and loosing most of your posessions and properties and buisnesses simply because your ancestors were born in Japan. Don't forget, these were all US citizens who had comitted no crime except that of looking like the enemy.
The ultimate irony is that many of the young men from there volunteered to fight for the freedom of the US in WWII, while the rest of their families were locked up at this camp. Their unit was one of the most decorated in Europe and also incurred the most casulties.
Not much is left there now, but the interpretive center, some markers of what used to be there and this cemetery standing alone at the foot of the Sierras.