SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Aleut Internment at Ward Lake Ketchikan
By Janice Jackson


July 04, 2007

I feel that our local Ketchikan community should initiate a healing ceremony acknowledging and remembering the Aleut people who were interned at Ward Lake. We need to do a memorial for the people who lost their lives at Ward Lake, and honor the survivors of this sad history while there are still survivors who can be a part of the healing process.

My Aunt Mary (whose husband was housed at an internment in SE Alaska as a young boy) recently said about a healing ceremony, "It would be greatly and gratefully received. So many of the people of that age group who were young adults during World War II are passing on at a rapid pace. Their children who are grandparents themselves would be so happy and grateful that the people in your area want to pay them honor."

Our local community would do a wonderful job of creating and implementing a healing ceremony based on the local Native traditions and customs. This would be a huge step in helping the survivors - and all of us - to heal from this sad chapter in our history, and to move forward in our lives with lighter hearts. It feels like the right thing for us to do.

I agree with another Sitnews' writer who suggested we place a memorial plaque at Ward Lake to acknowledge the history there.

This healing ceremony will require several concerned people to make it happen. Please write with your ideas and support so we can start to plan this ceremony together. It will be a healing process for many of us, locally and statewide.

Thank you.

Janice Jackson
Ketchikan, AK

Received July 03, 2007 - Published July 04, 2007

About: "My Uncle Flore was interned at an Aleut camp in Southeast Alaska as a young boy."

Related Feature 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

Related Viewpoints:

letter Aleut internment in Ward Lake Alaska By Larry Chercasen

letter Aleut internment camp at Ward Lake By Cherry Rice

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Ketchikan, Alaska