A chilling moment to mark the 75th anniversary of the executive order that led to Japanese American internment
He’s 94 years old and still clearly remembers.
Tokuji Yoshihashi remembers Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and wondering what would happen to Americans like him who looked like the enemy. He soon found out.
Exactly 75 years ago Sunday, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which paved the way for the incarceration of Yoshihashi and 120,000 other Japanese Americans in desolate camps scattered across deserts and swampland. Yoshihashi remembers his anxiety at being locked up and the shock of seeing the barbed wire and armed military guards at his camp in Gila River, Ariz.
He left camp in 1944 to fight for the country he still loved as a member of the U.S. Army’s celebrated 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated unit of second-generation Japanese Americans known as Nisei. The battles were brutal — one comrade threw himself on a grenade to protect fellow soldiers in the 1945 fight to break the German Gothic Line in Italy.
But Yoshihashi still remembers, with pride, President Harry S. Truman’s words to his fighting unit: “You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice — and you won.”
Today, however, the aging veteran wonders what his service to safeguard American freedoms and civil rights means at a time of President Trump and his executive order banning the entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.
“I hope they’re not being wasted,” Yoshihashi said of the veterans’ sacrifices during a recent interview in his San Gabriel home. “That order to ban all the Muslims … I don’t think that’s right.”
The uneasy parallels between two presidents and two executive orders singling out a class of people were repeatedly invoked Saturday at a packed Little Tokyo forum about the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066.
“As Japanese Americans who were directly affected by incarceration, we have a particular moral obligation to remind people that measures like the Muslim ban are not just unconstitutional, they are un-American,” former U.S. Rep. Norman Mineta said in a statement delivered to the forum. “They … undermine the very thing that sets our country apart: our enduring commitment to freedom and justice for all.”
Monday, February 20, 2017
Remembering When a Democrat President Incarcerated American Citizens of Japanese Origin
The debate will never end, in part due to the Democrat lie regarding the temporary ban of 6 out of some 47 or so Muslim nations. It's not a ban on Muslims. It's not even permanent. But that is the lie - read it all.