Terminal Islanders to Celebrate 15th Anniversary of Memorial Monument

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The Terminal Island Memorial Monument

The Terminal Islanders and the Port of Los Angeles will be celebrating 15 years since the dedication of the Memorial Monument on Sunday, April 15, at 10 a.m. at 1124 S. Seaside in San Pedro. The event is open to the public.

Completed in 2002, the Terminal Island monument is the only art piece on Terminal Island. It is dedicated to the 3,000 Issei and Nisei who made their home there and worked in the fishing industry, either on the boats or in the canneries.

In February 1942, they were the first Japanese Americans on the West Coast to be rounded up and incarcerated, with only 48 hours’ notice. In their absence, the village was stripped of anything of value and bulldozed, and the boats were stolen or destroyed. After the war, the former residents stayed in touch with each other and tried to keep the memories of Terminal Island alive.

There will be a call to order by Kokoro Taiko, followed by the presentation of colors by Long Beach Polytechnic High School JROTC. The master of ceremonies will be Terry Hara, former LAPD deputy chief. Midori Sanchez will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Kelsey Kwong will sing the national anthem.

A history of the Terminal Island Memorial Monument will be presented by architects from Gruen Associates, Michael A. Enomoto and Craig Biggi, who designed it and oversaw its construction.

A special commemorative T-shirt will be available for $ 15 and a vintage Terminal Island gift basket will be raffled. Also, for the first time since the dedication of the monument, information will be available for individuals and families to add names to the monument plaques.

Additionally, this will be the final opportunity to add items relating to Terminal Island to a time capsule that will be placed in a vault at the base of the monument and sealed.

At noon, the attendees are invited to proceed to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro for bento lunch and the dedication of its new Terminal Island exhibit. The encased items were arranged by author Naomi Hirahara, who will be present to make comments on the display.

Bento lunches will be available for $20 and must be purchased in advance. Send bento requests to Asako Miki, 1823 W. 238th St., Torrance, CA  90501, along with a check payable to Terminal Islanders. If you have any questions regarding the bento, call (310) 326-8875.

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