internment memorial at bainbridge island

Last week on Bainbridge Island in Washington, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the future site of a memorial commemorating the exile of 227 Japanese Americans from the island in March 1942 as a result of Executive Order 9066: Bainbridge Island breaks ground for Japanese-American internment memorial.

Because of their proximity to naval bases, the Japanese Americans on Bainbridge Island were the first sent to internment camps. Among the internees who were at the ceremony was 98-year-old Fumiko Hayashida, who lived on Bainbridge Island and was interned at Manzanar sixty-seven years ago.

A satellite of the Minidoka Internment National Monument in Idaho, the memorial so far features trails, footbridges, cedar gates and a pavilion that were completed in 2006. Projected to cost $9 million, the site will eventually have a pier and an interpretative center. Coordinators say they've raised $2.7 million so far.

Last week's groundbreaking ceremony launched construction of a 272-foot, stone-and-cedar "story wall" that will one day have the names of all 276 Japanese-Americans forced off the island on March 30, 1942.

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