|Day of Remembrance Chicago|
|Programs and Events|
The Japanese American community in the Chicago area comes together every year to commemorate the 1942 signing of Presidential Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of some 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II. This grave injustice, which resulted in restitution and an apology by the government, had a profound effect on the Japanese American community.
The 2011 program featured a screening of Pilgrimage, an inspiring film about the transformation of an abandoned WWII concentration camp into a symbol of retrospection & solidarity for people of all ages, races & nationalities in our post 9/11 world.
Tadashi Nakamura, a fourth-generation Japanese American award winning filmmaker from Los Angeles was our guest at the 2011 event. Using archival footage and a contemporary soundtrack, Nakamura tells his community’s history to a new generation. The Director will present his film and answer questions from the audience. Tadashi was named CNN’s Young People Who Rock in 2008 and the 30 Most Influential Asian American Under 30 by the Angry Asian Man.com. in 2009 among the numerous film awards he's received.
This annual event is sponsored by the Chicago Japanese American Council, the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society, the Japanese American Citizens League – Chicago Chapter, and the Japanese American Service Committee. The program is free & open to the public.
On Feb. 19, 2008 Senator Barack Obama (D-Chicago) released the following Day of Remembrance statement to commemorate the incarceration of Japanese Americans.
“This is a day of remembrance not just for Japanese Americans, but for all Americans. The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was one of the darkest moments in our nation’s history – a moment when fear led us to compromise our most fundamental rights.
Today, as we once again weigh the demands of security and liberty, let’s remember that it’s in times like these – times of great national challenge – when our ideals of justice and equality are tested most, and when it’s most important that we uphold them.
These are ideals that Japanese Americans have always upheld with dignity, and these are ideals that I will uphold each and every day as President of the United States."