A Nation's Disgrace

It’s 1942, and the world is ablaze
with WWII. A soldier sits reading his mail,
obviously upset, looking angry and dazed.
“What’s wrong, private?” “My parents tell
unbelievable news, Sir. My high school friend
and his whole family have been shipped out
to a relocation camp. Our government decided to send
them hundreds of miles away to what’s a prison no doubt.
They had to sell everything they owned at great loss
and were permitted only what few things they could carry.
My friend was born in our country. My father was boss
to his father. These people are not being treated fairly!”

“By what right do you question our government’s actions?
If our leaders think that these people warrant being removed
for the good of the nation, who are you to voice dissatisfaction?”
“But, Sir, how could bankrupting and imprisoning them improve
our country? They have done nothing at all to deserve such
harsh treatment. They are loyal, native-born citizens whose rights
are being ignored…violated. One day we’ll be ashamed of how much
we mistreated thousands of Japanese-Americans. You’ll see I’m right!”

Harry Edward Gilleland      04.22.02