One of my friends wrote, “Mayne Island Aliens brings back memories of my first years in High School.”
She tells of being friends with three girls in her class who were Japanese Canadians, while living on the West Coast during World War II.
“When the war broke out with Japan, the girls were first of all interned in Vancouver, and then went further inland, P. (her locker mate) ending up in Calgary with relatives. They used to write me letters, and as Class President, I used to read them to the class, until one day one of the girls complained we shouldn’t be reading these letters, as they were our enemy. So I discontinued sharing them with the class, however continued exchanging letters for quite some time. Eventually, we lost touch with each other, but I often think of them.”
I hope that more people will share their memories of those terrible times so that those of us too young to remember have a glimpse of the way war affects our thinking and the options that still exist. My friend did not share the attitudes expressed by others in her class. She relied on her own experience of people. She didn’t give in to the prejudice caused by fear.