Gov. Newsom Proclaims Day of Remembrance in California

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SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday issued a proclamation declaring Feb. 19, 2020 as “A Day of Remembrance: Japanese American Evacuation in the State of California.”

The proclamation reads as follows:

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Issued on Feb. 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 authorized the forced evacuation and incarceration of thousands of loyal United States citizens because of their Japanese ancestry.

Over two and a half years, the U.S. government removed Japanese Americans from their homes on the West Coast – without a trial or due process – forcing them into concentration camps in unfamiliar lands. Uprooted from their lives and livelihoods, they endured miserable conditions and treatment by military guards.

Despite these experiences, thousands of young Japanese American men enlisted in the U.S. armed forces, bravely fighting to defend the nation that was abridging their own freedoms at home. We honor their sacrifice, as well as the resilience that made it possible for thousands of Japanese American families to reclaim and rebuild their lives after the war.

A decision motivated by discrimination and xenophobia, the internment of Japanese Americans was a betrayal of our most sacred values as a nation that we must never repeat. This stain on our history should remind us to always stand up for our fellow Americans, regardless of their national origin or immigration status, and protect the civil rights and liberties that we hold dear.

On Feb. 19, I ask that all Californians join me in solemn remembrance of the issuance of Executive Order 9066 on this day in 1942. I similarly ask that all Californians commemorate the rescission of Executive Order 9066 by President Gerald R. Ford on this day in 1976.

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