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Internment display debuts

Commissioned by the National Park Service, a new display on the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II will make its debut on Bainbridge Island.

The display, said to include photographs and other interpretive material, will be unveiled at a ceremony at 2 p.m. Feb. 19 in the city hall foyer. The event will mark the 60the anniversary of President Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, under which 110,000 Japanese and Japanese American citizens were sent to the camps.

“The timing is really significant,” said Clarence Moriwaki of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community association.

“They understand that (Bainbridge Island) is literally and symbolically the start of everything. The forced relocation started right here.”

The exhibit will focus on the Manzanar camp, now a memorial operated by the National Park Service. The 2 p.m. unveiling will begin with comments by local officials and Japanese American community members, and will be followed at 2:45 p.m. by a panel discussion in the council chambers.

Also, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that he will use the event to introduce legislation seeking national park designation for the Taylor Avenue site from which the first people of Japanese descent were sent to internment camps during WWII.

Inslee said in a news release that he hopes the legislation will “secure the future” of the area around the former Eagledale ferry dock

“This very important anniversary calls upon the citizens of Bainbridge Island to tell the story of American history,” Inslee said. “We must remember transgressions of the past in order to prevent them from happening again.”

The exhibit will be on display in city hall through Feb. 22. It will then move to the Bainbridge Library, where it will stay through March 14.

The exhibit will then begin a two-year trip around the country, National Park Service officials said.

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