Nancy Ayako Mayeno

Brick #2362   Wall Location  Column: 85   Row: 25

The most difficult problem I encountered was the disintegration of the family. As soon as Pearl Harbor was attacked, within 24 hours, my father was arrested and brought to the Immigration and Naturalization Service jail with the other Japanese Issei (1st generation) men who had been leaders in the community. They were regarded as dangerous enemy aliens.

Then when the rest of the family were evacuated to Puyallup Assembly Center and subsequently to the Minidoka Relocation Camp, my older two brothers and a sister all began to eat in the mess hall with their friends. Because I was only 5 years old, I remained inseparable with my mother. I was confused and did not know why my father had left so abruptly. According to my sister's memory, when I would encounter strangers who looked somewhat like my father, I would ask them if they were my father. After an absence of about 2+ years, we were reunited with him when he was released to join us in Minidoka. By that time, my older brother enlisted in the Army Military Intelligence Service, making room for my father.

Through the separations and forced moves from something familiar and secure to an entirely different lifestyle, it is to the credit and testament of our Issei parents' attitudes that we siblings continue to support each other in time of need although geographically apart.

I thank the Lord for His love and mercy and grace through it all! He remains faithful!

Notes on the Photos:

1. In April-May 2006, I went on a tour of Grand, Bryce, and Zion Canyons. At the end of the tour and on my birthday, a group of us hiked Angels Landing in Zion. I almost climbed to the top. It was fun!
2. Photo of my mother, mistakenly in my photo manager.
3. In childhood, I was enamored by the Wild West movies; i.e., Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry.

Assembly Centers
  • Puyallup
  • Minidoka