Nearly 200 people, inspired by two dozen former World War II incarcerees, gathered Feb. 19 to clearly say “Never Again!” at the Buddhist Church of Florin in Sacramento, Calif., site of the 1942 government’s announcement of the WWII concentration camps.
The event’s focal point was to come together to learn about lessons of the past and also speak up today in support of Muslims, refugees, immigrants and others being targeted across the U.S.
“The Japanese community says ‘Never Again.’ We reject those who despicably justify bans on immigrants and refugees today because they mistreated Japanese Americans in the past. This happened to us before, and it should never again happen to others. We’re here to open our minds, open our hearts and open our arms to Muslims, refugees and immigrants,” said Michelle Huey, Next Generation Representative.
And 75 years after their imprisonment, two dozen former incarcerees whose families had to restart their lives following WWII came out to speak up and show their concern for others. Speakers included Isao Fujimoto, Mas Hatano, Sallie Hoshisaki, Tom Hoshisaki, Georgette Imura, Roy Imura, John Itagaki, Ellen Ito, Bob Kawamoto, Teri Kawamoto, Mae Kim, Utako Kimura, Sachiko Louie, George Miyao, Judie Miyao, Grace Noda, Grant Noda, Sam Shimada, Sue Teranishi, Christine Umeda, Stan Umeda, Hach Yasumura and Linda Yasumura.
Sponsors of the event were the Council on American Islamic Relations — Sacramento Valley, Buddhist Church of Florin and the Florian Japanese American Citizens League (Florin JACL-Sacramento Region).