Clovis native returns after being forced into confinement camps - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Clovis native returns after being forced into confinement camps in 1942 because of his race

Posted: Updated:
Clovis, NM -
He was forced from his home and had to live in fear for almost a year.
   
Now more than 70 years later, the city of Clovis is offering an official apology.  

NewChannel 10 spoke with a native Clovis man who recalls one of his first days of freedom after being shipped off to an internment camp in New Mexico.
     
Dr. Roy Ebihara is coming back to the place he once called home.

After retiring from his medical practice in 2008, he made a list of the many things he hopes to accomplish, but never imagined being invited back to Clovis, to be one of them.

It's a day of mixed emotions, making this trip unlike any other trip he has made before.

"We've invited him back to  to speak on behalf of the community and tell him that we are sorry for what his family went through, to create a special day for him and to recognize and educate our community about the misfortunate things that happened back in those days," Mayor David Lansford said. 

Looking around you may not realize that hundreds of people were forced out of this area, simply because of their race.  

Dr. Ebihara is just one example. But now city officials are trying to move forward by looking back.
At the age of 8, Dr. Ebihara was forced from his home shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

"We left Clovis on that fateful night, I think January 20th and the state patrol, they drove us all night long. We ended up in an old abandoned CCC camp, that was called Old Raton Ranch," he told us. 

In conditions less than ideal, Dr. Ebihara and his family were forced for nearly a year to live in a confinement camp. The only support they had was from each other.

"My older brothers and sisters took turns watching over everybody when the night fall came, simply because we were told that there was a vigilante group forming to come in get us. We lived in fear day after day," he said. 

But now more than 70 years later, Dr. Ebihara and the city are hoping to move on.

"We're just so tickled pink that the mayor and the commission and the people here are so apologetic. We are certainly willing to say yes, we accept and there is forgiveness in our hearts," Dr. Ebihara told us.

It's an apology the city is honored he would except.  

"We can shake hands and live in forgiveness," the Mayor said. Saturday has been declared by the city of Clovis as Dr. Ebihara day.  
 
Colleen Nelson - NewsChannel 10