FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - February 18, 2022


Joseph Duong - - 213.830.5690


Day of Remembrance 2022

LOS ANGELES – This week, the Japanese American National Museum commemorates the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. When President Franklin Roosevelt signed it on February 19, 1942, he launched the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II. As JANM remembers this milestone, I think about my boyhood behind barbed wire. We carried anger about being wrenched from our homes. We carried loyalty into battle and federal court. We carried uncertainty about returning to our friends and routines. But we did not lose hope. Heart Mountain taught me that we must be vigilant about upholding our democratic ideals, not vigilantes. A lifetime in public service taught me that we must work across the aisle to uphold these ideals for everyone.  

I also think about the history of anti-Asian racism in this country. Since the late nineteenth century, Asians have been targets of xenophobic and lethal acts of violence. With the pandemic, our community weathered a rash of violence aligning Asians with infectious disease, contamination, and othering. It is forged from the same fire that kindled antisemitism, colonialism, dispossession, and slavery. It is the same flame that ignited segregation, discrimination, and anti-miscegenation laws. Now, it fuels injustice against immigrants and people of color in America and around the world. 

On the 80th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, we ask everyone to join us in advancing social justice and equity. JANM was established to preserve the stories of Japanese Americans. We share these stories today to uphold the American ideals of equality, justice, and liberty. We understand what happened in their absence and will never let it happen again. So while we honor the generations before us, we educate the generations after us. Together, we highlight past lessons to understand the plight of communities experiencing the same injustices we faced 80 years ago.

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta
Chair, Board of Trustees
Japanese American National Museum