“And it seems to me important for a country, for a nation to certainly know about its glorious achievements but also to know where its ideals failed, in order to keep that from happening again.”-George Takei
It was 70 years ago today when an executive order was issued authorizing the internment of over 120,000 American of Japanese descent. Even people who were born in the US would be rounded up and taken away if they were as little as 1/16 Japanese. Of those taken to the camps, it is estimated that approximately 62% were American citizens.
Many internees lost their homes, personal property, even their lives. This is not something we should ever forget. We should remember so as to never repeat mistakes made in the past.
"We saw all these people behind the fence, looking out, hanging onto the wire, and looking out because they were anxious to know who was coming in. But I will never forget the shocking feeling that human beings were behind this fence like animals [crying]. And we were going to also lose our freedom and walk inside of that gate and find ourselves…cooped up there…when the gates were shut, we knew that we had lost something that was very precious; that we were no longer free."
"Down in our hearts we cried and cursed this government every time when we showered with sand. We slept in the dust; we breathed the dust; we ate the dust."
-Joseph Kurihara, an internee at the Manzanar internment camp in California
History cannot be altered. All we can do is make sure each generation learns from the mistakes of those that came before.