On May 17 and 18 in 1942, after President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, more than 700 people of Japanese ancestry in the south Puget Sound area were directed to report to Union Station for the forced removal from their communities to federally-constructed concentration camps. Join the Washington State History Museum for the fourth annual Day of Remembrance on Thursday, May 16 starting at 3 p.m. with free programming and activities to commemorate this event, the lives it impacted, and its legacy.
“With this event, we’d like to continue to honor this important date in Tacoma’s history, whose contemporary parallels are all too familiar,” said Sansei (or “third generation” Japanese American) writer Tamiko Nimura, who is an organizational partner for the event. “Remembering can take many forms, and we hope our communities will participate in healing and resolving to take action.”
The event is free and all ages are welcome. Visitors can learn to make origami folded paper cranes, a symbol of peace, to carry during the commemorative walk to Union Station later in the evening. In the museum’s auditorium, visitors will experience history through the Living Voices performance “Within the Silence,” written by Ken Mochizuki, sharing the story of a teenage girl sent to a U.S. concentration camp as a result of Executive Order 9066.
Following the Living Voices performance, visitors are invited to participate in a facilitated discussion and give input about an upcoming permanent exhibition to be incorporated into the museum’s Great Hall of Washington History. Opening for the National Day of Remembrance in February 2020, the new gallery will focus on Japanese American history across Washington related to Executive Order 9066. Join moderator Eileen Yamada Lamphere (Puyallup Valley Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League), along with museum staff, to discuss the content of the exhibition and provide your feedback and ideas.
To close the Day of Remembrance, Tamiko Nimura and Tacoma historian Michael Sullivan will lead a community procession to Union Station. Remarks will be made in front of the former railway station to remember the families who reported there on their way to being forcibly incarcerated in federal camps during World War II. The procession is open to all; gather in the museum’s outdoor amphitheater at 7 p.m. to participate.
Day of Remembrance event schedule: Create paper cranes, see a performance, provide input on an upcoming exhibition about Japanese American history in Washington, and participate in commemorative walk to the place of boarding for South Puget Sound Japanese American families as they were forced from their homes.
3-7 p.m. Paper crane folding in the Grand Lobby
5-6 p.m. Living Voices presents “Within the Silence” in the auditorium
6-6:45 p.m. Town Hall discussion moderated by Eileen Yamada Lamphere in auditorium. Learn about and share your ideas for the upcoming Washington State History Museum exhibition of Japanese American history in our state.
7-7:30 p.m. Commemorative procession from museum’s outdoor amphitheater to Union Station led by Tamiko Nimura and Michael Sullivan
More information at WashingtonHistory.org/events.