Japanese American woman

When viewing the black and white photos of the evacuation process of the Japanese Internment I'm always amazed at how the evacuees, mostly U.S. citizens, in an effort to show their patriotism, got all dressed up only then to be identified with white tags by the U.S. Military to go off in buses and trains, willingly evacuated, losing most everything in the process. If they had only known that their new homes would be nothing more than horse stables or make-shift wooden structures behind barbed wire fences and guards with guns on towers. If they had only known, would they have gotten all dressed up? ...with truly no place to go.

I read this poem on a wall in the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. It seemed appropriate here.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent; I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews, I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me, there was no one
left to speak out.

Martin Niemöller
Protestant pastor and social activist



All Dressed Up
20 X 24




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