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FIRST DONATION RECEIVED
We recently were opened a letter sent from Joplin, Missouri and was surprised and moved by a very generous donation made to the Poston Community Alliance, Inc for our "Barrack Relocation Project. "
Inside the envelope was a personal story which were were told we could share on our site with others.
Here's some excerpts from that letter:
....." I make this donation in memory of my late wife Fujiko who was not an "internee" at any of the camps. Rather, she was one of the "enemy" all the internees looked like. And at age seven when the war started, what a formidable enemy she must have been.
I am a retired Naval officer and retired California school teacher, now-in my old age -living close to family in my home state of Missouri. And my interest in the camps started at the same time as that of my wife. My first duty station in the U.S. after our marriage in Japan was at El Centro, CA.
There we became acquainted with a couple named Kamiya who owned and operated a small market where my wife could purchase Japanese foods. Fujiko was quite shocked to learn from Mr. And Mrs. Kamiya, who were interned at Poston, about the imprisonment. Her glowing image of America, land of the free and home of the brave was immediately tarnished. She had already formed a strong aversion to my home state when we were at first denied permission to be married, since Missouri was one of ten states who still forbid interracial marriages. In order to marry, I had to change my state of residence.
As for me, I'm sure I had heard of the incarceration as a child but had forgotten about it. As we became more educated on the subject, a desire built within us to visit all the former camps, not knowing then that there were ten. We managed to find only Manzanar and Poston during her lifetime. But at the date of those visits in the early 60's, not much was to be seen. Sometime before her death in 20O9, she mentioned once or twice that she regretted not finishing, and now being unable to finish the other visits.
Recently I completed the visits for her by touring all ten. At Manzanar I arrived after the museum was closed for the day. At Heart Mountain the museum was nearly finished but not yet open to visitors. And I have only recently discovered that Poston does have one or two original buildings. So, it looks like another trip is in order. I look forward to it.
I have done my part in bringing the history of this American version of a holocaust to the attention of family, friends and others through photos of the sites as I visited them. This chapter in the history of our country must never be repeated or forgotten...."
Mail your tax-deductible donations to:
Marlene Shigekawa, Treasurer
Poston Community Alliance
956 Hawthorne Dr.
Lafayette, CA 94549
Paypal payments accepted:
Send money to firstname.lastname@example.org