Japanese Americans observe Day of Remembrance at Idaho Capitol

kjones@idahostatesman.comFebruary 18, 2014 

Retired teacher Hisako Yasuda, center, of Caldwell, was evacuated when she was 13 years old, to work with her family in the sugar beet fields in Nyssa.

KATHERINE JONES — kjones@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

BOISE — As they have for the last 15 years, members of the Japanese American community — from across the Treasure Valley, Ontario and farther — gathered Monday in the governor’s office for a ceremony.

Seventy-two years ago on Feb. 19, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that began the process to put about 120,000 civilians of Japanese descent into internment camps. About 10,000 of them were incarcerated in Minidoka, which is now a National Historic Site.

“It’s important for us all to remember,” said Gov. Butch Otter, who proclaimed Feb. 19 a day of remembrance.

Retired teacher Hisako Yasuda, center, of Caldwell, was evacuated when she was 13 years old to work with her family in the sugar beet fields in Nyssa. They lived first in a tent camp until it got too cold, and then in a Civilian Conservation Corps camp.

“Everybody’s talking about it now,” she says, speaking of the internment camps and the executive order. “It was so hush, hush back then. I am beginning to admire my parents more and more for what they went through.”

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