War is never, ever a pleasant experience for anyone involved be it overseas or here at home in the U.S. In 1942, March 18 to be exact, Congress created the War Relocation Authority. This creation was a direct result of the fear brought on from the attack on Pearl Harbor just a few months prior.
The Authority was created to “Take all people of Japanese descent into custody, surround them with troops, prevent them from buying land, and return them to their former homes at the close of the war.”
In high school, I remember reading about the U.S. Military rounding up Japanese citizens during the war, but it was quickly forgotten until I encountered a relocation site in 2010 on the border of Wyoming and Montana. I was driving from Cody, Wyoming to Billings, Montana when I discovered the site. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center is no longer standing, but the remains of several buildings can be seen, as well as a memorial to all those who were held captive there. As I stood on the open range of this beautiful land in the bright sunshine and looked at the remains of buildings that had been erected some 70 years prior, it was hard to imagine what these people felt and endured simply because of their ethnic origins.