Veteran actor Noriyuki "Pat" Morita died at the age of 73. He will be remembered for his roles on "Happy Days" and in the Karate Kid movies. Fans may not know, however, that Morita [pictured] was forced into a Japanese internment camp at a young age. The purpose of this post is to offer some of Morita's thoughts on his days at the Gila River Internment Center:
"One day I was an invalid... The next day I was public enemy No. 1 being escorted to an internment camp by an FBI agent wearing a piece [link]...."
"I remember he wore dark glasses and had a mustache and was carrying a gun. Imagine that. I think back to the ludicrosity of it all: an FBI man escorting a recently able-to-walk spinal tubercular 11-year-old to a place behind barbed wire in the middle of nothing!
"I remember doing the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day. It was in a barracks...(I remember) my English class; and looking out the window and seeing the American flag waving, juxtaposed against a guard tower in the background, I had this sense of 'What's this all about?' Why am I saying 'liberty and justice for all'? I was too young to rationalize this, but I do remember that the hurt of bigotry began early on and was to last for many, many years. whenever I think about it, it still hurts. [link]"
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