Japanese-American Day of Remembrance
Executive Order 9066 sounds innocuous enough. Instead of calling something by a descriptive name and telling it like it is, a number hides the horror. Yes, 9066’s real power—ordering the incarceration of innocent Japanese- Americans during Word War II—was truly atrocious and unforgivable.
It’s also unforgettable because once a year, on Feb. 19, the Japanese-American Day of Remembrance reminds us. Marking the day in 1942 when 9066 was signed—sealing the fate of thousands of Americans to 10 different interment camps, including one just 16 miles west of Delta—this day of remembrance is designed to pay respect to those detained against their will.
This week, Plan-B Theatre Company, Topaz Museum, the Japanese-American Citizens League, SLC Film Center and the Main Library have joined forces to commemorate this dark time in American history. Several films—including The Cats of Mirikatani, Transcending: The Wat Misaka Story and Ken Verdoia’s documentary Topaz—will be screened at both the Main Library and Tower Theatre. Meanwhile, the world premier of Matthew Ivan Bennett’s play Block 8 will run through March 8 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center courtesy of Plan-B. Look for lectures and art exhibits as well.
In this post-9/11 world, justifications for 9066 could just as easily spring up as they did back then. Fear breeds more irrational fear, and remembering past terror is crucial. As the adage goes, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
Complete schedule of events commemorating Japanese-American Day of Remembrance @ PlanBTheatre.org/DOR