August 6, 2011
Slideshow photographs donated by Curtis Suyematsu of Reflections Photography LLC.
Close to 600 visitors attended the hour–long ceremony. Speakers addressed the history of the Bainbridge Island exclusion experience including the journey of creating this Memorial, the healing this Memorial hopes to foster, and the honor it will bring to this community. Sallie Maron, President of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association (BIJAEMA), summarized what this Memorial represents:
"Today we honor a host of qualities embodied in this Memorial Wall. First and foremost, we honor the courage and dignity of the 276 Bainbridge Islanders who lost so much and yet persevered as lights in their families, their communities, and their nation. We honor the love of a community for its neighbors and the recognition that the way we treat each other is the foundation of community. We honor the honesty of a government willing to admit a mistake and attempt to make amends. We honor the creativity and dedication of the architects, builders, designers, artists, and gardeners whose ideas and skills made this a place of beauty and inspiration. We honor the generosity of hundreds of people who have donated their time, talents, and resources to support the work of building the wall. And because of the remarkable depth and breadth of support for this project, heartfelt gratitude is embedded in every inch of the Memorial Wall."
The Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial project is being supported in part by a Preservation of Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.Back to Milestone Events