A Personal History, by the Numbers: Peter Ota
1: Nation, indivisible
12/7/41: Pearl Harbor
2: My sister and I, evacuated to Santa Anita Racetrack. Mama hospitalized, Father held a year for questioning.
12: My sister’s age.
3: Father, Sis, Me. The train to Amache Camp, in Colorado.
18: I was drafted.
18 1/4: Three months later, Mama died. I requested leave to transport her to Camp Amache.
3: Shore Patrol Officer, Military Police Officer, FBI agent. My escort.
28: Times I heard people say “Dirty Jap” in the train station.
4: Years Father spent in camps.
$100,000+: Worth of Father’s business.
$5,000: What he sold it for.
40: Years of being a good, and silent, American.
1983: Daughter, Cathy, questions. Answering, I wept. Cathy, very angry: Why did you go? Why didn’t you fight back?
1988: President Reagan signs Civil Liberties Act of 1988.
$20,000: Reparation received under the Act.