Day of Remembrance 2009

Photos from the Pinedale Assembly Center Memorial dedication weekend, held in Clovis, CA.

Judge Tony Ishii & wife. His father & grandfather were interned at Poston camp 1.

Satoshi "Fibber" Hirayama-Japanese American-Educator-Fresno State Bulldog-Major League Player & Coach, was a recipient of the President's Medal of Distinction, the highest non-degree award presented by California State University, Fresno. "Fibber" was a former Poston camp II internee.

Photo of Yoneichi Asami, former intern of Poston camp III from Reedley. This photo is on the ceramic storyboard at the Pinedale Assembly Center Memorial Plaza.

The former Pinedale internees who attended the dinner. Ted Kobata, was in attendance, but he missed this group photo. The people from the Sacramento area were relocated from the Pinedale Assembly Center to Poston camp II.

Memorial Dedicated At Pinedale Internment Camp

Feb 16, 2009
By: Clint Olivier & Kyra J. Neyland

Survivors dedicated a monument to what happened 67 years ago, in the hopes that nothing like the Japanese Internment will ever happen again. A sculpture & historical display mark Remembrance Plaza, built on the exact site where the Pinedale Assembly Center once stood.

Over 5,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were housed there before being shipped off to more permanent internment camps, but over 110,000 were confined in America. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order in 1942 to house all Japanese-Americans, based on the suspicion that some were possible spies.

Survivor Kiyo Sato still calls them concentration camps. "You can't believe everything is so beautiful here, but my gosh this was a miserable place," Sato said.
Sato was 19 when she came to Pinedale & now she's 85-years-old. Government representatives told Sato that the only belongings they could take with them was what they could carry. When she arrived Sato wore 3 sets of clothes, one on top of the other. "I was the oldest of 9 children, my brother David was 3," Sato said.

"My first train ride of my life. We traveled for a couple of days down to Fresno," James Hirabayashi said. Hirabayashi says he's also glad to see the camp memorialized. He was a sophomore in high school when he & his family were deported by train from their home in Seattle to the Pinedale camp."It just sort of destroyed life as we knew it," he said.

Both Hirabayashi & Sato agree that the memorial is important for Americans of all ethnicities to see & understand. "It's wonderful that this history is being remembered, because if we don't remember it then we are going to do it again," Sato said.

1 comment:

Dianne said...

He Served With Valor in Italy
LOST YEARS: The Internment of Japanese-Americans. Second of two parts.
February 17, 1992
Dean Takahashi, Times staff writer
Charles Ishii, 75, of Santa Ana, is a retired farmer. He served as a first sergeant with the famed 442 Regimental Combat Team during World War II.
Ishii was drafted by the Army in March, 1941. But after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the FBI arrested his father, Kyutaro Ishii, on the family farm in Talbert (now Fountain Valley).
The family was sent to the internment camp (Poston camp I) in Poston, Ariz., but Ishii was assigned to a unit of an all-Japanese American regiment, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He fought overseas in Italy, France and Germany.
Ironically, while his family had been interned in the United States, elements of Ishii's unit, the 522nd field artillery battalion, liberated the Dachau concentration camp in Germany near the end of the war.
Ishii visited Dachau a day after the liberation. A Jewish guide showed him the gas chambers where the Nazis killed Jewish prisoners en masse, as well as the burial urns where dozens of bodies were stored.
"It was a miserable sight," Ishii said. "You could see the survivors standing in the doorways of barracks, half dead. We weren't allowed to give them food."
Ishii came back to Orange County in 1946 with a Bronze Star and continued farming with his family in Talbert. In 1957, he was elected to the first City Council of Fountain Valley.

NOTE: Story about the Honorable Judge Tony Ishii's uncle.