Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Manzanar orphans

Why were there orphans at an internment camp? It seems absurd, but like all Japanese-Americans living on the west coast during WWII, they were considered a threat to national security.

So 100 orphans, along with 10,000 other Japanese-Americans, were shipped off to the Manzanar internment camp in the middle of the California desert in 1942, where they stayed until the war ended in 1945.

Tonight was a non-writing night, so I spent it reading about the orphanage at Manzanar and looking at photos with tears streaming down my face while my poor wife kept coming over to tell me to stop looking at depressing photos.

There are multiple layers of tragedy here, but there's also love and joy and hope. There are always good humans who find ways to help one another when the world takes a dark turn. I think about how much those people surely meant to these kids who were dealt such a crappy hand--abandoned, unwanted, declared the enemy. Like tiny flowers that bloom in the desert sand, love always finds a way to push forward, bit by bit by bit.