A few miles south of Parker, Arizona, in the midst of fertile farmland growing thousands of acres of lush alfalfa thanks to the water of the Colorado River, stands an unobtrusive monument in remembrance of a controversial part of our country’s history.
Just outside of the tiny town of Poston on highway AZ-1, where almost 18,000 people of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned during World War II, now stands a memorial monument on the land of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. I visited the memorial a couple days ago and found myself quite moved by the stories related there.
It’s very important to note that 1,200 sons and brothers from this group volunteered and gave their lives to prove their loyalty to the United States during the war. An amazing thing to do when you think they had been taken from their homes with only what was on their backs, then were stripped of their citizenship. Just imagine.
In total, 120,000 men, women and children from California, Washington, Oregon and even a portion of Arizona were loaded on rail cars and taken to various locations where they spent 3-1/2 years incarcerated. Does this bring any other situation to mind? Yeah, more war-time hysteria that caused actions we should be ashamed of. Ok, enough politics.
If you’re ever traveling between Parker and Ehrenberg, Arizona, look for the group of palm trees that mark this site. Stop and spend a little time. You won’t regret it.