Words were right on the money.


Words were right on the money.

Wonderful editorial this morning: “A home of their own.” I was born in 1934 so I have vivid memories of WWII, having two brothers in the Navy in the South Pacific. I must have been 9 or 10 and I was an avid newspaper reader. Many times I read in the Mandan Pioneer (N.D.) of how the Japs burned alive or buried alive (among other atrocities) the American pilots that they captured. The word Japs is now very politically incorrect, but it was the language then. They were always depicted as having Coke bottle eye glasses with bulging eyes; buck teeth, almost sub-human in all the propaganda illustrations.

I have read “Flags of our Fathers” and “Flyboys” by James Bradley and “Ghost Soldiers” by another author, whose name escapes me. They all detail the horror our soldiers; the Filipino solders and civilians were subjected to. I have urged my grandchildren to read these books so that they will know what really occurred. They are very interested because their grandfather (my husband Bill) was an 18-year-old soldier librating the Philippine Islands. He fought with the guerrillas and participated in many beachhead landings. Bill is now 82 years old.

Unfortunately our school system and the media have re-written history to be politically correct. Now yearly we are reminded of what a terrible country we were to unleash the atomic bombs on Japan and how terrible it was to round up all the Japanese citizenry. I agree most of these people were loyal hardworking citizens contributing greatly to the economy. However there were many Japanese spies among us, especially near harbors. My future father-in-law was a warden working for the FBI on the Los Angeles docks in that era and they did discover many disloyal to their adopted country. We heard many incidents later after the cloud of secrecy was lifted.

There was much hatred of the Japanese and it was probably good for their safekeeping from the white citizens. I had never seen an Asian person until we moved to Seattle in 1947 and I had a Japanese girl in some of my classes. I was very fond of her and we were friends. I did not realize until years later how she and her family must have suffered during the duration of the displacement.

Sorry to ramble on, but just wanted to tell you what an outstanding editorial that was.

Alvina Ballinger