2021 NJAUMC Day of Remembrance Service

We remember…

Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19th, 1942. That order, which authorized the government to place American citizens of Japanese ancestry in internment camps, has been a blight on our country’s history and marked a time when common sense and human rights gave way to fear and prejudice. We mark this day to help us remember the lessons of the past so we do not repeat them again.

Image courtesy of the Center for Remembering and Sharing

Internees were only allowed to bring one suitcase with them to the camps. All of their other belongings were at risk. Often the property of these American citizens were vandalized and unless they had friends who were not of Japanese ancestry they risked losing everything. Unscrupulous people would buy their belongings and valuables at a fraction of their worth. All because of their ancestry. Not one of the American citizens locked up were ever convicted of associating with the enemy yet they were rounded up anyway.

Image courtesy of Seattle PI

Amidst this tragedy, there were many kind-hearted people who did take care of their neighbors. Churches acted as a storehouse for personal belongings, neighbors and friends tended to farms which would otherwise go fallow, and advocates for the Japanese-American internees would speak on their behalf when they had no voice. We remember these people too as examples of what it means to be a neighbor the way Jesus challenged us to be.

The churches of the National Japanese-American United Methodist Caucus have come together in unity to commemorate this day and to remember the lessons of the past. We invite all of those who would like to join us for our premiere presentation of this special worship service to click the link below on Friday, February 19th at 7pm PST. Churches from all over the country will be taking part in this service, churches with historic Japanese-American ties to the community, from Colorado to Washington to California. We will hear a message from Bishop Roy Sano, the first person of Japanese-American ancestry to become a Bishop in the United Methodist Church. It will be a time of solidarity as we pledge “Never Again.”

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