February 19

West of my home is this sign which is dedicated to the Americans of Japanese ancestry that were brought here before being sent to a detention center. I go by it almost weekly. I pay little attention to the sign. I know its there but often I forget what it says. Let me remind us all. On February 19, 1942 President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order for the displacement of one hundred and twenty thousand Americans to internment camps. “Camp Pinedale” was an assembly area that opened the March after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The camp could house a total of 4,823 evacuees before being moved to a more permanent location.

Oscar Romero, martyred Archbishop of El Salvador once said, “Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty.”

Dear Father, we can not change what has been done before. But please help us Savior not to repeat the sins of the past. Keep us from persecuting others out of ignorance. Keep us a loving people willing to stand by and for others and not be silent or willing to be ignorant, to not forget what has been done before. Give us peace. Amen.