Day of Remembrance (Japanese Americans)

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1 April orders, based on legislation signed on 19 February 1942

The Day of Remembrance (DOR) is a day commemorating the Japanese American internment during World War II.[1] Events in numerous U.S. states are held on or near February 19, the date in 1942 that Executive Order 9066 was signed, requiring internment of all U.S. residents of Japanese ancestry.[2]

Washington[edit]

The first Day of Remembrance commemorating the Japanese American internment was in Washington state November 25, 1978, organized by the Evacuation Redress Committee. Co-sponsors included thirty churches, veterans' groups, and other social organizations, as well as the national Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). The event took place mainly at the Puyallup fairgrounds, which had served in 1942 as the assembly center named Camp Harmony. Although initially resistant, the board of the Western Washington Fair ultimately voted unanimously to allow the event to use the fairgrounds free of charge. The National Guard provided several large trucks similar to those used in 1942 to lead a caravan from Sicks' Stadium in Seattle to Puyallup, replicating the route taken by some of the internees.[3]

Jay Hirabayashi performs a butoh dance piece in memory of his parents, Gordon and Esther Hirabayashi at a Day of Remembrance event in Seattle, Washington, February 22, 2014.

The University of Washington Department of American Ethnic Studies held its first Day of Remembrance program in 1997, and has held such a program all but three of the years since. At the 2008 ceremony, the university granted honorary baccalaureate degrees to all 449 Japanese American of their former students who had been affected by Executive Order 9066.[4]

The state of Washington has officially recognized the DOR since 2003.[5]

Oregon[edit]

The first Day of Remembrance event in Oregon occurred February 17, 1979, less than three months after the initial Washington event. Like the Washington event, it was held at a detention site: the former site of the Pacific International Livestock Exposition, which, in 1942, had been the site of the Portland Assembly Center.[6]

California[edit]

In 2013, a ceremony was to be held in San Francisco's Japantown district.[7][8][9] Los Angeles County has officially recognized the day.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CAPAC Members, Congressional Leaders Recognize Day of Remembrance for Japanese Internment, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, February 19, 2013.
  2. ^ The Day of Remembrance is observed officially or unofficially in numerous U.S. states, including:
  3. ^ Jennifer Ott, First Day of Remembrance (of World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans) is held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds on November 25, 1978, HistoryLink article 9464, August 23, 2010.
  4. ^ "Day of Remembrance Commemorations", Courage in Action: the Life and Legacy of Gordon K. Hirabayashi, program for a symposium of the same name that took place at Kane Hall, University of Washington, February 22, 2014. This lists the program for each year; there is no listing for 1999, 2001, or 2005.
  5. ^ RCW 1.16.090 Legislative declaration for civil liberties day of remembrance, listing of statutes on the site of the Washington State Legislature. Accessed online 2014-02-27.
  6. ^ Mitzi Loftus, Day of Remembrance, The Oregon Encyclopedia (Portland State University). Accessed online 2014-02-27.
  7. ^ "San Francisco: Japanese Americans commemorate internment camps | abc7news.com". Abclocal.go.com. 2013-02-17. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  8. ^ "Gil Asakawa: Not Enough People Know About Japanese Americans' Day of Remembrance". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  9. ^ Tell Me More (2008-02-19). "'Remembrance' Marks Japanese-American Plight". NPR. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  10. ^ "Long Beach Post - Day of Remembrance for Japanese-Americans Interned During WWII". Lbpost.com. Retrieved 2013-03-23.