California lawmakers mark Day of Remembrance for Japanese internment

California lawmakers mark Day of Remembrance for Japanese internment
© Greg Nash

Members of California’s congressional delegation on Wednesday marked the 78th anniversary of former President Franklin Roosevelt’s order interning Japanese Americans in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, which has since been commemorated as a Day of Remembrance in the Japanese American community.

“78 years after fear, hate, and division led to the signing of Executive Order 9066, California will formally apologize for its role in the internment of Japanese-Americans. We must never repeat these mistakes,” Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden tops Trump by 9 points in Fox News poll Biden could be picking the next president: VP choice more important than ever With VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted, linking to coverage of California’s planned apology for its role in the internment.

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"Today we remember the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II," Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDOJ probing stock transactions made by lawmakers ahead of coronavirus crisis: report Lobbying frenzy connected to stimulus sparks backlash House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted. "Let’s vow to never return to a time of such hatred and bigotry of our fellow Americans and strive to reject xenophobia wherever it appears."

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“With #EO9066, the US stripped 120,000 Japanese Americans of their rights and unduly imprisoned them in concentration camps,” Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellKey House chairman cautions against remote voting, suggests other options amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Congress tiptoes toward remote voting MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted, referencing Roosevelt’s executive order. ”78 years later, we must resolve to never let one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history repeat itself.”

Rep. Barbara LeeBarbara Jean LeeCBS All Access launches animated 'Tooning Out the News' series Bill banning menthol in cigarettes divides Democrats, with some seeing racial bias Democrats spar with DeVos at hearing, say Trump budget would 'privatize education' MORE (D-Calif.) explicitly paralleled the internment to President TrumpDonald John TrumpHealth insurers Cigna, Humana waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment Puerto Rico needs more federal help to combat COVID-19 Fauci says April 30 extension is 'a wise and prudent decision' MORE's recently expanded travel ban applying to several predominantly Muslim countries, tweeting "On this day in 1942, the U.S. government authorized the internment of over 110,000 Japanese Americans. Today, Trump is banning people from entering the U.S. from Muslim countries. 'Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.' "

Rep. Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoRep. Mark Takano endorses Sanders The Hill's 12:30 Report: Super Tuesday fallout Democrats 'frustrated' by administration's coronavirus response after closed-door briefing MORE (D-Calif.), whose family members were interned during the war, tweeted "78 years after Executive Order 9066 was signed, we reflect on the suffering endured by Japanese Americans in internment during World War II. We must never forget this injustice or be indifferent to the tactics used to violate the liberties of these Americans."

California was the site of two internment camps, Manzanar and Tule Lake.

State lawmakers in California are scheduled to vote on a resolution Thursday that would formally apologize for the internment of Japanese Americans during the war.