I’m getting ready to visit the last three of the WRA Camps. I’ll be going to the sites of the former WRA Camps: Minidoka, Idaho, Heart Mountain, Wyoming, and Topaz, Utah.
There are three things that remain uppermost in my mind. First, the history of the particular camps. How did the camps come to be located where they were? What was the process for building them? How many people were imprisoned in each one? What were their experiences? Second, the states of the former Camp sites. How much is there to see? Is there evidence of former Camp buildings in the surrounding area? What remembrance events take place? Third, the voice of the people who lived in the Camps. A friend of mine, advising me in the formative stages of this journey, told me in so many words, “Let the voices of the people who were there drive your narrative.” I have tried to do that, seeking quotes from people who were there, including contemporaneous quotes. Mine is a journey to understand and to express solidarity. Theirs is the primary narrative.
As I prepare for my last three visits, researching, making appointments and reservations, planning my photos, and more, I’ve included in this transitional post, some more pictures of the people who were taken to the Camps against their will. The pictures speak for themselves…
Faces of the WRA Camps…
Boarding the bus to the Camp. [National Archives]
Arriving… [National Archives]
Nursery School [National Archives]
A young family [Densho Digital Repository]
Dentist [Densho Digital Repository]
Nurse [Densho Digital Repository]
Doctor [Densho Digital Repository]
Laying pipe [Densho Digital Repository]
Working the fields [Densho Digital Repository]
Farming [National Archives]
Displaying produce ready for shipment [Densho Digital Repository]
And, on this Memorial Day Weekend…
PFC Joe M. Nishimoto [U.S. Department of Defense]
Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Killed in Action, in November 1944. Posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2000.
Going home… [National Archives]
Thanks for coming along for the journey. I’ll be back soon.
Grace and peace to you,
Dear Art, Thank you for taking this initiative and expense of resources and time. I like your allowing the incarcerated to tell their story but I would encourage you to provide your overview as well. This response would be helpful because of your sensitivity, your wisdom, and the passage of time to allow a historic memory. Thanks, Roy >
Dear Roy, Thanks yet again for your sage advice! As I work over the next couple of months to finish the physical part of my trip and then to finish my writing about it, I must keep your advice in mind. Timidity in the service of an important end is a light weight tool. I deeply appreciate your words! Grace and peace, Art.
Thanks for the reminder of what Memorial Day means.
Just seemed appropriate for my blog. Thanks! and… Welcome Back to the continent… : )