Wednesday, October 20, 2020
“The forced internment of our fellow citizens through Executive Order 9066 is one of the darkest chapters in American history. The fact that it occurred during my lifetime highlights just how fresh of a wound this is for Japanese Americans across our country. In 1988, I was proud to support the Civil Liberties Act, which took crucial steps to acknowledge our nation’s wrongdoing and to recommit ourselves to never letting racially-based incarceration happen again. Tragically, many of our young people no longer study this terrible moment in history, which puts our ability to learn lessons from this era at risk. I am proud to join my friend, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, as we introduce the Japanese American Confinement Education Act. If we do not acknowledge, reconcile, and learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. This bill takes crucial steps to educate younger generations about the horrors of Japanese internment. It is my great hope that we take these lessons to heart, and honor the families who were devastated in the very country they called home.”
~ Representative Don Young (R-AK)
The Japanese American Confinement Education Act would permanently reauthorize the Japanese American Confinement Site (JACS) program within the National Park Service (NPS), which is currently set to expire in 2022. This program has been one of the primary resources in the preservation and interpretation of the U.S. Confinement Sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Additionally, the legislation establishes a separate, new 5 year, $2 million per year competitive grant to create educational materials about the Japanese American confinement. This grant would require the recipient museum to develop and nationally disseminate accurate, relevant, and accessible resources to improve awareness and understanding of Japanese American Confinement in WWII.
Read the full press release from Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) here.