SACRAMENTO – Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) released the following statement on Day of Remembrance (Feb. 19), the anniversary of the date in 1942 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 — leading to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Rep. Doris Matsui

“Day of Remembrance is a day of reflection, education, and commitment to action for our future generations. Today marks 81 years since the authorization of Executive Order 9066 — which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans, including my family. Everyday Americans were taken from their homes and stripped of their most basic freedoms—simply because of their heritage.

“Recently, President Biden signed my bill, the Norman Y. Mineta Japanese American Confinement Education Act, into law. This legislation will make sure that we continue to lift up the voices of our past and teach our younger generations this painful chapter of American history. It will ensure that Americans continue to learn about the perseverance and strength that has been woven into the Japanese American identity.

“We cannot hide from our history, but we can do everything in our power to ensure that it never repeats itself. During World War II, many were blinded by prejudice and believed the myth that Japanese Americans were inherently our enemy. Battles against prejudice and discrimination continue to this day, and it is our community who knows all too well what that feels like, what kind of mark it leaves, and most importantly, what we can do to stop it. Day of Remembrance reminds us that we must remain vigilant in our pursuit of justice.”

The Norman Y. Mineta Japanese American Confinement Education Act reauthorizes the Japanese American Confinement Site program within the National Park Service. This program has been one of the primary resources in the preservation and interpretation of the U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II.

Additionally, the legislation establishes a separate, new five-year, $2 million-per-year competitive grant to create educational materials about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

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