Signed on February 19, 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Executive Order 9066 authorized the Secretary of War to designate certain areas as military zones and was used as the legal rationale to deport Japanese Americans, Italian Americans and German Americans to internment camps during World War II.
“Each year on February 19, the Japanese-American community gathers to remember the signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forcing of all persons of Japanese descent into internment camps, including my own mother and father when they were children,” said Rep. Takano. “My family, like thousands of others, came to America seeking a better life, and our government failed us at every level. The Day of Remembrance allows us to reflect on these injustices and educate our communities so that these mistakes never happen again.”
“73 years ago, our government, blinded by war and by fear, abandoned the Constitution and violated the civil rights of more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent,” said Rep. Matsui. “Every year on February 19, our nation recognizes the Day of Remembrance, a time to reflect on the mistakes of the past and commit to ensuring such injustice never again becomes a reality. We cannot erase our past, but through remembrance and reflection, we can ensure history does not repeat itself.”
“When I was one year old, the U.S. government told my family that our citizenship and civil rights meant nothing compared to war hysteria and the supposed defense of our nation,” said Rep. Honda. “My family was rounded up like cattle and illegally incarcerated in an internment camp simply because we were Japanese Americans. On February 19 each year, the Japanese American community rallies together to remember the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which authorized the forced removal of all persons of Japanese descent, both citizens and non-citizens, from the West Coast. This resolution to recognize the Day of Remembrance is important in not only memorializing our experience and remembering the injustices, but also in healing and educating others so we never see such prejudicial actions again.”
The resolution is cosponsored by Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Jackie Speier, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. Derek Kilmer, Del. Madeleine Bordallo, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Juan Vargas, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier and Rep. Maxine Waters.