Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Congress Reflects on an Important History Lesson

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill today to preserve the historic Japanese Internment camps where the U.S. government wrongly held approximately 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II. This terrible civil rights violation happened shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Many Americans feared the bombing was a sign Japan was preparing a full-scale attack against the United States.

Two of these internment camps are located in Arkansas. The Rohwer War Relocation Center was established in September 1942 and housed 8,475 Japanese and Japanese Americans. The Jerome War Relocation Facility was established in October 1942 and housed 8,497 people.

It is important to preserve these historic landmarks, so our children and grandchildren do not make the mistakes of the past. America has come a long way in 60 years. We have a responsibility to make sure this country continues to grow together, where our citizenship and rights define us above our race, class, or origin.