Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II, 10677-10679 [2022-04103]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 37 / Thursday, February 24, 2022 / Presidential Documents 10677 Presidential Documents Proclamation 10341 of February 18, 2022 Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation Eighty years ago, on February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, stripping people of Japanese descent of their civil rights. That order and the subsequent actions carried out by the Federal Government represent one of the most shameful chapters in our Nation’s history. On this Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II, we acknowledge the unjust incarceration of some 120,000 Japanese Americans, approximately two-thirds of whom were born in the United States. Despite never being charged with a crime, and without due process, Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes and communities and incarcerated, simply because of their heritage. For years, many Japanese Americans lived in harsh, overcrowded conditions, surrounded by barbed wire fences and armed guards. Not only did they lose their homes, businesses, property, and savings—they also lost their liberty, security, and the fundamental freedoms that belong to all Americans in equal measure. I have always believed that great nations do not ignore their most painful moments—they confront them with honesty and, in doing so, learn from them and grow stronger as a result. The incarceration of Japanese Americans 80 years ago is a reminder to us today of the tragic consequences we invite when we allow racism, fear, and xenophobia to fester. jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with FR PREZDOC2 Today, we reaffirm the Federal Government’s formal apology to Japanese Americans whose lives were irreparably harmed during this dark period of our history, and we solemnly reflect on our collective moral responsibility to ensure that our Nation never again engages in such un-American acts. We acknowledge the intergenerational trauma and loss that the incarceration of Japanese Americans has caused. We also uplift the courage and resilience of brave Japanese Americans who, despite being unjustly incarcerated, formed powerful communities and marshalled incredible dignity and strength. Many of those whose families were incarcerated volunteered or were drafted to serve in combat—courageously serving in the 100th Infantry Battalion, Military Intelligence Service, Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, Army Nurse Corps, and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team with unwavering patriotism. The all-Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team became two of the most decorated and distinguished military units in our Nation’s history. Countless Japanese Americans carry forward this legacy of extraordinary service today, and their work to preserve the history of this period strengthens our Nation and our democracy. We reflect on the bravery of civil rights leaders like Fred Korematsu, Minoru Yasui, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Mitsuye Endo, and that of every Japanese American who organized and sought redress. Their efforts helped bring about the first Day of Remembrance, led President Jimmy Carter to sign the law creating the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, and spurred President Ronald Reagan to sign the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which provided monetary reparations to living survivors and VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:36 Feb 23, 2022 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\24FED1.SGM 24FED1 10678 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 37 / Thursday, February 24, 2022 / Presidential Documents an official apology to the Japanese American community. At the same time, we also acknowledge the painful reality that Japanese Latin Americans, who were taken from their Central and South American homes and incarcerated by the United States Government during World War II, were excluded from the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Today, the National Park Service helps preserve several Japanese American incarceration camps. These tangible reminders of our history provide important spaces for reflection and learning about the injustices born of prejudice. Preserving incarceration sites as national parks and historic landmarks is proof of our Nation’s commitment to facing the wrongs of our past, to healing the pain still felt by survivors and their descendants, and to ensuring that we always remember why it matters that we never stop fighting for equality and justice for all. My Administration is committed to maintaining these national parks and landmarks for future generations and to combating xenophobia, hate, and intolerance—including through the reestablished White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. In the words of Dr. Frank Kitamoto, who was incarcerated as a child, ‘‘This is not just a Japanese American story but an American story with implications for the world.’’ The words we use to describe the historical and present treatment of communities of color and other underserved communities have profound meaning. Today, we recognize that euphemistic terms that we have collectively used in the past—such as ‘‘assembly centers,’’ ‘‘relocation,’’ or ‘‘internment’’— do not adequately describe the injustice experienced by some 120,000 people; we recognize the forced removal and mass incarceration of Japanese Americans and others during World War II; and we reaffirm our commitment to Nidoto Nai Yoni, which translates to ‘‘Let It Not Happen Again.’’ jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with FR PREZDOC2 NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 19, 2022, as a Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration During World War II. I call upon the people of the United States to commemorate this injustice against civil liberties and civil rights during World War II; to honor the sacrifice of those who defended the democratic ideals of this Nation; and to commit together to eradicate systemic racism to heal generational trauma in our communities. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:36 Feb 23, 2022 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\24FED1.SGM 24FED1 Federal Register / Vol. 87, No. 37 / Thursday, February 24, 2022 / Presidential Documents 10679 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth. [FR Doc. 2022–04103 Filed 2–23–22; 11:15 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:36 Feb 23, 2022 Jkt 256001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\24FED1.SGM 24FED1 BIDEN.EPS</GPH> jspears on DSK121TN23PROD with FR PREZDOC2 Billing code 3395–F2–P

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 37 (Thursday, February 24, 2022)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 10677-10679]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-04103]




                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 87 , No. 37 / Thursday, February 24, 2022 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 10677]]


                Proclamation 10341 of February 18, 2022

                
Day of Remembrance of Japanese American 
                Incarceration During World War II

                By the President of the United States of America

                A Proclamation

                Eighty years ago, on February 19, 1942, President 
                Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, 
                stripping people of Japanese descent of their civil 
                rights. That order and the subsequent actions carried 
                out by the Federal Government represent one of the most 
                shameful chapters in our Nation's history. On this Day 
                of Remembrance of Japanese American Incarceration 
                During World War II, we acknowledge the unjust 
                incarceration of some 120,000 Japanese Americans, 
                approximately two-thirds of whom were born in the 
                United States.

                Despite never being charged with a crime, and without 
                due process, Japanese Americans were forcibly removed 
                from their homes and communities and incarcerated, 
                simply because of their heritage. For years, many 
                Japanese Americans lived in harsh, overcrowded 
                conditions, surrounded by barbed wire fences and armed 
                guards. Not only did they lose their homes, businesses, 
                property, and savings--they also lost their liberty, 
                security, and the fundamental freedoms that belong to 
                all Americans in equal measure.

                I have always believed that great nations do not ignore 
                their most painful moments--they confront them with 
                honesty and, in doing so, learn from them and grow 
                stronger as a result. The incarceration of Japanese 
                Americans 80 years ago is a reminder to us today of the 
                tragic consequences we invite when we allow racism, 
                fear, and xenophobia to fester.

                Today, we reaffirm the Federal Government's formal 
                apology to Japanese Americans whose lives were 
                irreparably harmed during this dark period of our 
                history, and we solemnly reflect on our collective 
                moral responsibility to ensure that our Nation never 
                again engages in such un-American acts. We acknowledge 
                the intergenerational trauma and loss that the 
                incarceration of Japanese Americans has caused. We also 
                uplift the courage and resilience of brave Japanese 
                Americans who, despite being unjustly incarcerated, 
                formed powerful communities and marshalled incredible 
                dignity and strength.

                Many of those whose families were incarcerated 
                volunteered or were drafted to serve in combat--
                courageously serving in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 
                Military Intelligence Service, Women's Army Auxiliary 
                Corps, Army Nurse Corps, and the 442nd Regimental 
                Combat Team with unwavering patriotism. The all-
                Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 
                442nd Regimental Combat Team became two of the most 
                decorated and distinguished military units in our 
                Nation's history. Countless Japanese Americans carry 
                forward this legacy of extraordinary service today, and 
                their work to preserve the history of this period 
                strengthens our Nation and our democracy.

                We reflect on the bravery of civil rights leaders like 
                Fred Korematsu, Minoru Yasui, Gordon Hirabayashi, and 
                Mitsuye Endo, and that of every Japanese American who 
                organized and sought redress. Their efforts helped 
                bring about the first Day of Remembrance, led President 
                Jimmy Carter to sign the law creating the Commission on 
                Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, and 
                spurred President Ronald Reagan to sign the Civil 
                Liberties Act of 1988, which provided monetary 
                reparations to living survivors and

[[Page 10678]]

                an official apology to the Japanese American community. 
                At the same time, we also acknowledge the painful 
                reality that Japanese Latin Americans, who were taken 
                from their Central and South American homes and 
                incarcerated by the United States Government during 
                World War II, were excluded from the Civil Liberties 
                Act of 1988.

                Today, the National Park Service helps preserve several 
                Japanese American incarceration camps. These tangible 
                reminders of our history provide important spaces for 
                reflection and learning about the injustices born of 
                prejudice. Preserving incarceration sites as national 
                parks and historic landmarks is proof of our Nation's 
                commitment to facing the wrongs of our past, to healing 
                the pain still felt by survivors and their descendants, 
                and to ensuring that we always remember why it matters 
                that we never stop fighting for equality and justice 
                for all. My Administration is committed to maintaining 
                these national parks and landmarks for future 
                generations and to combating xenophobia, hate, and 
                intolerance--including through the reestablished White 
                House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, 
                and Pacific Islanders. In the words of Dr. Frank 
                Kitamoto, who was incarcerated as a child, ``This is 
                not just a Japanese American story but an American 
                story with implications for the world.''

                The words we use to describe the historical and present 
                treatment of communities of color and other underserved 
                communities have profound meaning. Today, we recognize 
                that euphemistic terms that we have collectively used 
                in the past--such as ``assembly centers,'' 
                ``relocation,'' or ``internment''--do not adequately 
                describe the injustice experienced by some 120,000 
                people; we recognize the forced removal and mass 
                incarceration of Japanese Americans and others during 
                World War II; and we reaffirm our commitment to Nidoto 
                Nai Yoni, which translates to ``Let It Not Happen 
                Again.''

                NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of 
                the United States of America, by virtue of the 
                authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws 
                of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 19, 
                2022, as a Day of Remembrance of Japanese American 
                Incarceration During World War II. I call upon the 
                people of the United States to commemorate this 
                injustice against civil liberties and civil rights 
                during World War II; to honor the sacrifice of those 
                who defended the democratic ideals of this Nation; and 
                to commit together to eradicate systemic racism to heal 
                generational trauma in our communities.

[[Page 10679]]

                IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 
                eighteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two 
                thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the 
                United States of America the two hundred and forty-
                sixth.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

[FR Doc. 2022-04103
Filed 2-23-22; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3395-F2-P