SAN FRANCISCO — Two major Day of Remembrance events are planned in the Bay Area this weekend.
“Carrying the Light for Justice: 70 Years After Executive Order 9066” is the theme of a commemoration to be held Sunday, Feb. 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post St. (at Fillmore) in San Francisco Japantown.
This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of civil rights icon Gordon Hirabayashi, who died last month.
Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred Korematsu, will serve as emcee. The keynote speaker will be Lane Hirabayashi, Gordon Hirabayashi’s nephew and George and Sakaye Aratani Professor of the Japanese American Internment, Redress and Community at the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.
A perspective on current civil rights issues facing Muslim Americans will be given by Imam Amer Araim. The Dr. Clifford I. Uyeda Peace and Humanitarian Award will be presented to artist and activist Lewis Suzuki.
The ScoJourners rap group and children from the Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program at Rosa Parks Elementary School will perform.
A candle-lighting ceremony will be held, with each candle representing one of the camps where Japanese Americans were held during World War II. A procession to the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St., and an interfaith ceremony by the Japanese American Religious Federation will follow.
Sponsors include the Bay Area Day of Remembrance Consortium, Lane Hirabayashi, Union Bank and the Asian Firefighters Association.
The westbound Bay Bridge will be closed on Presidents Day weekend, so those attending from the East Bay are asked to use alternate routes.
Admission is free. For more information, call the National Japanese American Historical Society at (415) 921-5007 or visit www.dayofremembrance.org.
Also on Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m., the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee will present the 32nd annual San Jose Day of Remembrance at San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 640 N. 5th St. (at Jackson) in San Jose Japantown. The theme is “Civil Liberties Under Siege.”
Speakers will include Karen Korematsu, Zahra Billoo of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) San Francisco Bay Area, and Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose), who voted against the National Defense Authorization Act because it allows the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial.
San Jose Taiko will perform, and attendees will take part in a candlelight procession through Japantown.
Admission is free. For more information, call (408) 505-1186 or visit www.sjnoc.org.