SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Aleut internment in Ward Lake Alaska
By Larry Chercasen



July 02, 2007

I wish to thank Mr. Kiffer for his compassionate article on the Aleut evacuation. It brought back many sad and yet nostalgic memories of my stay there from 1942 to 1945. I was seven years old at that time... It is good that people hear of the suffering that is brought on by wars.

I visited the site of the Aleut internment in Ward Lake on a cruise to Southeast Alaska last year. It was the first time I returned since leaving the camp in April 1945. It is now a beautiful day use recreational site with not a trace or hint of the suffering that took place there during the war. I left four cousins in the soil of Ketchikan during this time, and they lay in unmarked graves in Bayview cemetery in downtown Ketchikan today. I want to thank the caretakers of that cemetery that have kept accurate records of the burials and very compassionately pointed out exactly where my cousins were buried.

I want to thank also the tour guide that so kindly took me where I needed to go during this return to my past, and all the people that offered their kind condolences when they learned of the purpose of my visit.

Larry Chercasen
Vancouver, WA

Received July 01, 2007 - Published July 02, 2007

About: " I am a survivor of the internment in Ward Lake from 1942 t0 1945."

Related Story:

A Sad Chapter of World War II in Alaska; Aleuts Relocated for Safety, Yet Many Died At Ward Lake a feature story By DAVE KIFFER - Sixty Five years ago this month, the Japanese invaded Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

In the grand scheme of World War II, it was only a feint. The idea was to attack American "home" territory to draw attention away from the central Pacific where the Japanese hoped to deal a crippling blow to U.S. forces at Midway and drive the US Navy back to Pearl Harbor or even San Francisco. - More...
Saturday - June 23, 2007

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska