California state legislature apologizes to Italian-Americans for WWII treatment.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Seventy-five year old Monterey businessman Mike Maiorana was a child during WWII when his family was forced from their Monterey home because the US government feared Italian Americans might spy for the land of their ancestors.
The family, along with many others in Monterey was barred from living near the coast where Maiorana's father made a living as a sardine fisherman, and was forced to move to Salinas. Not only that, the government confiscated the elder Maiorana's boat, and pressed it into wartime service.
Now, with the passage of a bill by state Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), the state legislature has officially expressed its regrets to Italian-American families like the Maiorana's who lost everything during the war, even though many were citizens and loyal Americans.
Maiorana worked closely with a San Jose man, Chet Campanella, who suggested Simitian take up the bill, to gather information on the war-time treatment of Italian Americans.
"My father lost his livelihood," Maiorana says. And he never quite recovered financially. Still, Maiorana says he harbored no anger nor resentment toward the government.