Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Groundbreaking Memorial on Bainbridge Island

[Photo above] Fumiko Hayashida waits to board a ferry from Bainbridge Island on March 30, 1942 with her daughter asleep in her arms.
"This war was so long ago," she said. "I'm proud of my life. I had a good life, not a perfect one. But nobody's life is perfect. I have good family and good friends, and I feel so lucky." [from Seattlepi.com]

There was a progressive ceremony on Monday, March 30 for the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial. The name of the memorial site is Nidoto Nai Yoni, which means Let it not happen again in Japanese. Just as important as not letting it happen again, it is especially important to remember historical events such as the Executive Order 9066 and the anguish and hardships that were experienced along with it. "It reminds the public what happened, so that it will never happen again...We don't want it to happen again, never again, to any group," said Hayashida. Spoken by the oldest living survivor of the interment camps created during World War II, let her words sink in and remind us that racism and xenophobia happened in our country and that an entire community of innocent people were victimized simply because of their ethnicity and culture. What happened is something to learn from and something that should never happen again.

[photo above] Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island head to a ferry on March 30, 1942, the beginning of their journey to internment camps, where they would spend up to the next four years. Some 227 men, women and children were forced to leave the island with just days' notice [from The Seattle Times]


For more information, visit BIJAC (Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

-Allison Rhee

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