Day of Remembrance at Assembly Center Site

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The Day of Remembrance Memorial Garden, dedicated at the Salinas Assembly Center site on Feb. 19, 1984 by the five local JACL chapters. It is maintained by Joe Bowes, Gary Mine and Iwao Yamashita of Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL. (Photo by J.K. Yamamoto/Rafu Shimpo)

SALINAS — The Monterey Peninsula JACL will host the annual five-chapter observance of the Day of Remembrance at the site of the Salinas Assembly Center, where 3,600 Japanese Americans were incarcerated from April to July of 1942 while more permanent camps were being built further inland.

The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 1:30 p.m. in the Salinas Community Center, Santa Lucia Room, 940 N. Main St., Salinas. Light refreshments will be served.

This year’s event will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which acknowledged that the U.S. government deprived Japanese Americans of their constitutional rights during World War II solely on the basis of race.

“Redress was the culmination of 20 years of effort by JACL to educate the public about the injustices perpetrated on our community, to pursue legislative remedy, and to convince our government that there was a need to acknowledge its error and to apologize for its ignorance,” said Larry Oda of Monterey Peninsula JACL.

Tom Graves will introduce his book “Twice Heroes,” which features photographs and interviews of Nisei veterans. He will talk about his motivation for producing the book and the importance of preserving the soldiers’ stories. Copies of the large- format book will be available for purchase.

The JACL chapters that share duties with Monterey in hosting this event are Gilroy, Salinas Valley, San Benito County and Watsonville-Santa Cruz.

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