In this podcast, Clarence Moriwaki, who is the president of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association, describes the upcoming March 30 anniversary commemoration at the Exclusion Memorial.
Clarence, Japanese Americans residents, the Interfaith Council, government officials and many community members and nonprofits have worked 14 years to create and develop the Memorial.
The day marks the 73rd anniversary of the tragic day in March 1942 when more than 200 Japanese American residents of Bainbridge were forced under military guard to leave their homes and lands behind. Bainbridge was the first west coast community to suffer from the forced exclusion of Japanese Americans at a time marked by wartime fear and shock over Pearl Harbor.
This year, the theme of the day is “Service and Community.” To show community solidarity, the public is invited to come to the Memorial in work clothes as early as 9am to pull weeds and generally improve the look of the grounds.
Then, 11am will mark the time when the troops forced Japanese Americans onto a waiting ferry that took them to trains and trucks that eventually led to internment camps.
Our local US Congressman Derek Kilmer plans to attend the event to pay his respects. He recently obtained an act of Congress to add the word “Exclusion” to the official name of the Memorial.
The event is scheduled to end at 1pm.
See other BCB podcasts on several community and theater events that are currently commemorating the painful lessons of the Exclusion, such as “Snow Falling on Cedars“, “Dear Editor: Letters to the Bainbridge Review“, and interviews with Donna Harui and Lilly Kodama.
Credits: BCB host, editor and publisher: Barry Peters.