Today, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed February 19, 2017 as a Day of Remembrance to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 which authorized the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. The motion was cosponsored by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and passed with unanimous support.
“We cannot forget the injustice that Japanese-Americans endured at the hands of our government in the name of national security,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “While we can never take back what victims went through in the internment camps, we can tell their stories and recommit ourselves to standing up for the rights of all communities so that history does not repeat itself.”
Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, forced more than 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent – including children and the elderly – from their homes and businesses and incarcerated them without charge or trial under the pretext of national security. None was ever found to have committed sabotage or espionage.
“We should never forget this dark period in our nation’s history,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “The civil liberties of the County’s most vulnerable communities continue to require vigilant protection from infringement justified by national security.”
In declaring a Day of Remembrance, the Board emphasized that “no community should suffer such violations of constitutional and human rights.” It also encouraged County employees to voluntarily participate in Day of Remembrance events to be held through October.