Commemorating the internment during World War II of nearly 120,000 innocent Japanese-Americans, U.S. authorities this week reportedly tracked down and apprehended thousands of the now-elderly detention camp survivors for a 70th anniversary reunion.
Packing the onetime detainees into buses, armed guards forcibly returned them to their cramped, ramshackle barracks at the Poston War Relocation Center—just one of many sites across the country in which aging Japanese-Americans accused of nothing more than their ancestry have been given the chance to revisit a powerful, formative event from their pasts.
“After finding out where all the internment alumni now live, we removed them from their homes and hospital beds and brought them here, to the camp, so they could reconnect with old friends and take part in the ongoing festivities,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Grant Lowry, who oversees the recently reactivated prison in the Arizona desert. “We’re hoping that by rounding everyone up and getting them back behind the barbed wire, they’ll be able to relive some memories from long ago, and maybe even make a few new ones!”
“The celebration is mandatory,” Lowry added.
Korematsu said it was ok.