Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Prayer for the Day of Remembrance

Today is a day set aside as a Day of Remembrance so that we do not forget the internment in prison camps of 120,000  American souls of Japanese and Aleut descent during World War II.

The actual thing was called  Executive Order 9066.  It was signed by one of my historical heroes and one of the most progressive leaders in modern history, President Franklin D. Roosevelt -  a man who nine years earlier scolded us by saying:
"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
Just to be clear, in America, we didn't have "prison camps" or "internment camps", we had "assembly centers".  Those "assembly centers" didn't have "prisoners" or "detainees", they had "evacuees".
It took another of my historical heroes to check back in with what we were thinking.  Thirty (30) years later, President Jimmy Carter established a commission to look into what we were thinking and subsequently apologize publicly and try to compensate survivors for their pain.

We allowed this to happen.  You and me. Because it didn't effect us at all.  What did we care?  Why should we care?   After all, we were fighting a war.

Right.  Why should we care?

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