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The Beginning of World War 2 Was Not an American Problem

Essay by review  •  March 19, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,626 Words (7 Pages)  •  954 Views

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The first shots fired in World War 2 were not an American problem. It was being fought thousands of miles away. Hitler may have been an evil man but his war was with Europe not the United States. That was the American mindset. Forgotten in all this, besides the fact that the war would soon pull our boys overseas: is that there were already countless American immigrants whose lives were no longer there own. I was in high school and in America that was supposed to mean the future was bright, except I was one of those immigrants.

After December 8th 1941 most of the male students of Santa Clara high who were 18 years old left school and joined the military. Those boys who were not 18 waited until their 18th birthday then left school. This seemed liked the right thing to do for our country and I wanted to be a good American and do what was best for our country. I would turn 18 in Feburary and wanted my parents to know what were my plans. I wamted to be like all good American boys and join the service. I was willing to fight for what I thought was my country.

All I would think about was joining the service.. I would have to give up my dream of being a baseball player, and become a serviceman. I still did my running and practiced baseball everyday, rain or shine until I had to make a decision. Finally durning our Christmas break from school, I had to talk with my Dad. I couldn't decide for myself what to do, so I needed to asked for his help. I stayed around the house and waited for him to return home from work. When he got home and saw me in the backyard, he knew something was wrong. He walked right up to me and before I could asked he told me to sit down and tell him what was wrong.

When I explained to my Dad what all the other guys in school were doing and I felt I should do the same. My Dad got a uneasy look on his face and paused before giving his advice. He rolled and lite a cigarette, then looked me in the eyes. Son we are different than most families in America and you shouldn't go into the army. But we are not different Dad everyone is the same in America. Italians are good soldiers but the American army doesn't like soldiers from Italy.You will be better off staying in school. He walked away but I could tell there was more to it, but I will staying in school and trust my fathers decision.

Feburary 9th. was here and I did nothing, no birthday party, no joining the service, just kept it quit and went along with my daily activites. I would learn later in the year why my father wanted me to keep my 18th birthday quite.

Lost in history was that the Japanese Americans were not the only group targeted by the government. My family and I avoided being sent to the Italian American designated neighborhoods. My father worked in the produce business and the government felt it would be better served if he did not leave his job. He shipped a lot of vegetables that not only fed families, but the soldiers preparing for war. Because of this my family and I were allowed to live in our home. I was able to attend Santa Clara high school.

My uncle’s family was not as lucky. My uncle was allowed to keep his restaurant, but the name would have to go. Our government decided that the name Italian American restaurant was not acceptable. So my uncle changed it…to his name. Aldolpho, or in English, Aldolph’s. He was running the resturant by himself, after my aunt and my cousin Bobby were sent to live in one of the designated neighborhoods for Italian Americans until the war was over. Aldolpho didn't know where his wife or son were living, and was unable to have any contact with them. All he knew was that they would be returned to him after the war.

Aldolph's oldest two sons were off to the military. Cousin Rudy Camarlinghi would serve in the army, cousin Gilbert Camarlinghi in the coast guard. Only one of them would return alive.

The goverment would not allow us to travel to Santa Cruz, about a 36 mile trip to visit our cousins. Dad told us it was because uncle Adolph was too busy, but it was because mom and I were not allowed in public after dark or out of the city limits of Santa Clara. Dad was allowed to travel and be out after dark if he was working. Dad was givien a speical privlidge because he was employed at the Santa Clara county produce market. Because he was working in the food industry, the goverment gave him the liengencies. He was running the resturant by himself, after my aunt and my cousin Bobby were sent to live in one of the designated neighborhoods for Italian Americans until the war was over.

June 1942 was going to be a speicial time for me. I was either going to Santa Clara University to learn and trade and improve my skills as a baseball player or go straight into baseball's minor leagues and become a ball player. I have been working everyday to become a

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