Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, September 21, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page 11



Mountain View News Saturday, September 21, 2019 





Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 



Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Dr. Tina Paul

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt

LaQuetta Shamblee


Last week my wife and I boarded a cruise 
ship to Alaska. In the capital city of Juneau 
we climbed a hill going past the accessible 
tourist shops and discovered a memorial 
in front of a Russian Orthodox Church. 
The Memorial was erected in 2016 and 
reads as follows:

“ In the turbulence of World War II as 
Japan invaded the Aleutian Islands, Aleut 
Americans were removed from their homes by the United States 
government and sent to isolated internment camps in Southeast 
Alaska. Between June 1942 and August 1945, Aleuts were confined 
to camps where abysmal conditions and government neglect lead 
to disease and death. Ten percent of the men, women, and children 
died. As Aleuts prayed for deliverance their homes and churches 
were looted by Allied “friendly forces” sent to defend the Aleutian 
and Pribilot islands. Suspected of nothing, accused of nothing, 
the Aleuts loyalty to the U.S. was never in question. Decades later 
a special commission determined federal official had as a matter 
of simple convenience limited Aleuts’ freedoms. The many who 
died in the camps were a huge loss, “the Commission on Wartime 
Relocation and Internment of Civilians concluded…”America 
proud of its cultural diversity, thereby lost a distinctive part of 
itself. We will speak your name and tell stories about you. We will 
remember you “

Unfortunately our internet phones did not work in Juneau so I 
could not learn more about the Memorial at the time. Luckily my 
wife took a picture of the Memorial the text of which is reproduced 
above. Today learned more about the Memorial and discovered 
that it was erected by Governor Bill Walker, an independent 
elected a few years subsequent to the resignation of Sarah Palin in 
2009. (I would have been very surprised if the Memorial had been 
erected during her short term in office.)

A little research led me to an article in the Smithsonian Magazine 
dated February 22, 2019 which described “the infamous Executive 
Order 9066 which singled out “resident enemy aliens” in the 
United States during World War II, forcing 120,000 Americans 
of Japanese background into relocation camps like Manzanar. 
(If you are not aware of the internment of Japanese Americans 
during World War II both you and the American educational 
system should be ashamed.)

The article describes how 881 Aleuts were forcibly relocated and 
interred, transported to unsanitary camps in Southeast Alaska, 
and held there throughout the war. The evacuation itself was 
nasty and traumatic and nobody was allowed to bring more than 
one suitcase. Troops then set fire to the villages that had been 
inhabited just days before. “The Aleut evacuees were forced to live 
in abandoned canneries, a herring saltery and a gold mine camp, 
rotting facilities with no plumbing or electricity or toilets. Aleuts 
were kept in the camps for 2 full years. Those who survived the 
war went home to find their villages burned and destroyed.

The reason for the removal and the internment was stated to be 
necessary to protect the Aleuts and move them to safer places in 
the case of an invasion that never took place. There is little more 
to the article which ends by saying that the United States in 1988 
issued an apology but the legacy of the Aleut people’s forcible 
relocation and harsh treatment endures.

I want to conclude my article with just a few thoughts on how I 
was affected. Certainly the parallel between what happened 80 
years ago at our northwestern border seems eerily similar to the 
shocking United States governmental behavior now taking place 
at our Southern Border.

Shortly after our walk down the large hill we saw a young boy 
struggling to properly fix a basketball hoop to a pole. I ran (or at 
least walked purposely across the street) and managed to solve 
the problem. More than I usually do but it felt like the right thing 
to do.

On leaving the cruise ship and being transported to the airport we 
waited in an interminable lines. As we waited I noticed a middle-
aged woman in a blue coat sneak under a rope and butt in line. 
She was well behind us and actually had no effect on our wait but 
I was incensed and yelled at the Security People to eject her from 
the line and force her to the rear. The only effect of my outrage 
was that the woman removed her coat and my wife scolded me 
for getting involved when it was none of my business. I endured 
her scolding, saying little, but knowing that to myself I had done 
the right thing.

I am sure the Memorial effectively reminded me of the importance 
of doing whenever possible, the right thing. To always recognize 
when things are being done that are not right and TO TRY AND 

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