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Bainbridge Review distorted Japanese memorial facts | Letters | April 9
“Let it never happen” perpetuates the Review’s long-standing jihad against FDR’s EO-9066 and promotes local special-interest demands for reparations.
Go ahead and hawk this history and its $9 million monument but please present history accurately and contextually. Using a special-interest group prism to pivot all WWII misery on this story distorts the facts.
While the written narratives on the “wall” have yet to be revealed, the editorial quotes from Walt Woodward and reporting by Review staff suggest the full facts will not be used. Context surrounding EO-9066 is important for all who study history.
Facts are critical. Editor Woodward’s 1943 editorial about three Japanese-American enlistees in the U.S. Army conflicts with the later editorial quotes of a figure of 62 enlistees, 36 percent of the 227 relocated men, women and children.
Selective Service Special Monograph No. 10 (1953) found 5-7 percent of relocation camp draft-age men volunteered to serve. The incontrovertible fact is 93 percent of the draft-age males sat out the war while 15 million U.S. farm boys, laborers and woodsmen served under universal conscription or volunteered.
Fact: Woodward apparently never had access to government documents revealing pervasive war-time West Coast Japanese spying with tentacles extending to the Puget Sound. War and MAGIC documentaries on EO-9066 background and spying are at www.internmentarchives.com and airs locally on BKAT.
Fact: Woodward smears Gen. DeWitt (and by implication President Roosevelt) for racist bigotry for the implementation of EO-9066. FDR, Gen. DeWitt and the Army carried out the security provisions with honor, fairness and compassion.
Fact: Bainbridge’s 227 residents were not the first to be relocated. That distinction belongs to residents from Terminal Island at San Pedro, Calif.
Fact: Of the $3 million raised to date, significant portions of that were public monies from state, county and city sources. The city dedicated a planner for many years. Included in the city contributions were waterfront public lands at Pritchard Park, waived fees and outright grants.
I say: Let “IT” (savage militaristic aggression sweeping the Pacific Rim) never happen again.
James M. Olsen