MEMORIAL — 2002 Memorial and Plaque Dedication
In 2002, sixty years after Bainbridge Island's 272 Japanese Americans were sent into unconstitutional imprisonment, a small plaque was unveiled on the site of their departure to honor them and the memory of what was done to them. More than two–dozen Nikkei were among the 500 people who listened as Governor Gary Locke, Representative Jay Inslee and others spoke of their hope that the National Park Service might soon recognize the site officially.
The Plaque Reads:
Nidoto Nai Yoni - Let it not happen again
On the morning of March 30, 1942, 227 Bainbridge Island men, women, and children, most of them United States Citizens, were escorted by armed soldiers to the Eagledale ferry landing. They solemnly boarded the ferry Kkehloken and departed on a lonely journey with an unknown destination and fate.
They were exiled by Presidential Executive Order 9066 and Civilian Exclusion Order No. 1 because they were Nikkei - persons of Japanese ancestry. With only six days notice they were forced to hastily sell, store, or make arrangements for all of their possessions, businesses and property. They were allowed to take only what they could carry or wear.
They were the first of more than 120,000 Japanese–Americans to be forcibly removed from their homes and experience three years of unconstitutional internment. No all were interned. Some were drafted into the military, some were unjustly imprisoned, and some moved away — but all were forbidden to remain.
We dedicate this site to honor those who suffered and to cherish their friends and community who stood by them and welcomed them home. May the spirit of this memorial inspire each of us to safeguard constitutional right for all.
Nidoto Nai Yoni "Let it not happen again."
Back to Milestone Events