Day of Remembrance in Olympia


 

BY KEN FURUSAWA

On February 15, 2017, we visited the Legislative Building in Olympia to attend the event ‘Day of Remembrance’ held at the House of Washington State Legislature.

‘Day of the Remembrance’ is the day when people in the United States look back at the history of Executive Order 9066, by which Japanese Americans were incarcerated to camps. We attended the ‘Day or Remembrance Resolution’ with Senators and had lunch with people in the Japanese American communities including senators, house of representatives, those who actually experienced internment and different people who have Japanese connections.

Speeches made by Sharon Tomiko Santos and Monica Jurado Stonier during the resolution session were so powerful and left the strong message of importance to remember this tragedy that happened 75 years ago in 1942.

During the lunch session, we had chances of talking with different people and heard many interesting stories. I was strongly impressed by Japanese American’s close relationships with each other, power to drive society and mission to share from generation to generation.

One of the highlights of the session was the quick visit and brief speech by the Washington Governor Jay Inslee. He acknowledged the significance of Japanese American’s efforts and showed his support for them. It was the heartfelt attitude by the governor and made Japanese American people feel more confident and comfortable. It was the special occasion for me to deepen my understanding of Japanese Americans in Washington State including its history, and it was the time when I could rethink how people identify themselves and share their life as a member of the community.