Cantwell Hails Grant for Japanese American Internment Educational Memorial Wall on Bainbridge Island
Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded the National Park Service (NPS) for awarding the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial nearly $183,000, covering two-thirds of the total cost to design and install an educational wall at the Memorial.
"During World War II, the first Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps from Eagledale Ferry Dock on Bainbridge Island, and it is important to preserve and interpret this site's significance as an important part of our state and national history," Senator Maria Cantwell said. "We must continue to remember the injustices suffered by Japanese-Americans and learn from this dark chapter in American history. The educational installation funded in part by this grant will ensure stories of thousands are not silenced, but rather passed on for future generations. "
The educational installation is the latest phase in the $9 million memorial project. The 227-foot stone and cedar wall will tell the story of the 227 Bainbridge residents of Japanese ancestry who were rounded up and sent to internment camps in California and Idaho. In all, 12,892 residents from Washington state were sent to detainment camps.
The grant awarded today is part of $3 million awarded by the National Park Service to fund 20 projects in a dozen states. Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006 to preserve and interpret the locations where Japanese Americans were incarcerated after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Since 2006, Senator Cantwell and U.S. Representative Jay Inslee (D-WA-1) spearheaded the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial Bill, which finally passed in 2008 and gave the NPS site status to the Japanese American Memorial at the Eagledale Ferry Dock on Bainbridge Island. The Memorial on Bainbridge is a satellite unit of the Minidoka Internment National Historic Monument in Jerome County, Idaho, which marks the place where many of those forcibly removed from Bainbridge Island were eventually sent.