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Japanese American Memorial rememberance wall groundbreaking slated for March 30

An artist’s rendition of the remembrance wall in Eagledale. - Courtesy Art
An artist’s rendition of the remembrance wall in Eagledale.
— image credit: Courtesy Art

Groundbreaking for phase two of the Japanese memorial in Eagledale will begin at the end of the month.

A ceremony celebrating the start of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial “Story Wall” will be held on March 30 – the 67th anniversary of Japanese Americans leaving the island for internment camps during World War II.

Phase two of the memorial includes a 276-foot-long wall (one foot for each Japanese American on Bainbridge when internment began) made of granite and wood.

The wall roughly follows the path traveled by islanders as they walked to the old Eagledale ferry dock to begin their journey to internment camps. Along the length of the wall, an interpretive timeline will tell the story of Bainbridge Japanese Americans during WWII.

The wall breaks at the point of the war, which is memorialized in black basalt, then begins again as Japanese Americans started returning to their homes on the island.

The groundbreaking will begin at 10 a.m. and there will be a free bus service beginning at 9:25 a.m. from the Winslow ferry terminal. A park-and-ride bus service will leave from the Bethany Lutheran Church lower parking lot at 9:35 a.m. Return service will begin at 11:15 a.m.

The phase two project is slated to be finished this summer, an estimated $300,000 is still needed to design and install the wall's interpretive materials.

To date, $2.7 million has been raised for the $9 million memorial project.

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