Salt Lake City, UT

Day of Remembrance Bill Signed at a Special Ceremony in Salt Lake City

S. F. Mori

Several bills related to minority groups were signed in Utah

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Day of Remembrance Bill signed by Governor Cox(Image is author's)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, after the start of World War II. That order gave military commanders in certain areas of the United States the authority to remove any persons from specific regions of the country. The order was only used against people of Japanese descent who were living on the West Coast of the continental United States. It affected mostly Japanese Americans and immigrants who lived in California, Oregon, and Washington.

The move was later determined by a commission to be due to racism, war hysteria, and a lack of competent government leadership at that time.

These people were forced to leave their homes and enter assembly centers which were racetracks and county fairgrounds until the camps were ready for occupancy. There were 120,000 people who were uprooted from their homes with their freedom taken away. Ten camps were built in remote and desolate areas of the United States. Two were in California, two in Arkansas, two in Arizona, and once each in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah.

Community groups and Japanese Americans have commemorated the camp experience by holding a Day of Remembrance on February 19. Utah State Senator Jani Iwamoto had a bill passed which would create a permanent Day of Remembrance for Utah on February 19 of each year.
The point of remembering is to teach the general public about this part of American history so that no one else will ever have to suffer such an egregious violation of their constitutional rights as American citizens.
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A group who witnessed the signing(Image is author's)

Several members of the Japanese American community in Utah were invited to the bill signing ceremony which took place at the I.J. and Jeanne Wagner Jewish Community Center in Salt Lake City adjacent to the University of Utah campus. The outdoor event featured Governor Spencer Cox and Lieutenant Governor Diedre Henderson signing several important bills.

There were also bills signed by the governor and lieutenant governor which pertain to other minority communities in Utah.

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Utah State Senator Jani Iwamoto and Floyd Mori(Image is author's)

Jani Iwamoto, Utah State Senator from the Millcreek area of Salt Lake City, is of Japanese heritage. She was the chief sponsor of the bill to make the date of February 19 each year as a Day of Remembrance to honor those who suffered and to remember the history.

It is hoped that this bill will help people remember and avoid such actions in the future.

[Reference: The Japanese American Story as Told Through a Collection of Speeches and Articles, www.thejapaneseamericanstory.com]

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I am a retired President/CEO of civil rights organizations. I have been a Mayor and California State Assemblyman as well as a College Instructor of Economics. I have also been an entrepreneur and international business consultant. I will be sharing articles mostly about life, politics, racism, travel, health, and relationships.

Salt Lake City, UT
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