National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Commemorates Day of Remembrance
Today marks 74 years since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, on Feb. 19, 1942, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 loyal Japanese Americans during World War II, none of whom was ever charged with a crime or found guilty of a subversive act. This year is also the 40th anniversary of President Gerald Ford’s repeal of E. O. 9066 in 1976.
The Day of Remembrance is a reminder of when our government failed to protect the civil liberties of Americans of Japanese ancestry simply because they were perceived to be the enemy.
“Today, as we reflect on a time in history when our nation succumbed to fear, we are in an atmosphere of anxiety once again—but this time, we can show that we have learned the lessons of the past, by not repeating its mistakes,” said National Director Christopher Kang. “As we witness an alarming rate of hateful and discriminatory rhetoric and action toward Muslim, Sikh, Arab and South Asian American communities, we are committed to upholding our nation’s ideals and protecting the civil rights and liberties of our communities and of all Americans.”
NCAPA member Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization, is co-hosting a Day of Remembrance event at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History this evening. JACL has compiled a full list of events around the country on their website.
“Our community’s livelihoods were destroyed in this shameful period of history,” said JACL Executive Director Priscilla Ouchida. “Every year, we commemorate the Day of Remembrance to remember the lessons of the past. Today, we must stand together stronger than ever to defend our country’s values and ideals.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.