Santa Clara County Judge Leads Japanese-American Incarceration Memorial Legacy Project – NBC Bay Area
Survivors of Japanese internment camps in the United States are aging.
A Santa Clara County judge is making sure those touched by this dark chapter in our history are not forgotten.
When these American citizens of Japanese descent were imprisoned in prison camps in the United States, the American flag flew above these camps.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Johnny Gogo travels the country with these flags, giving interned families the opportunity to sign them.
Although Gogo is not Japanese, he runs the “Japanese American Incarceration Legacy Project”.
“As a way to honor their family sacrifice, family difficulties, the memory of the family that is no longer there and resilience,” he said.
There are 700 signatures on three flags and it counts.
Former Bay Area congressman Mike Honda was the first to sign. He was just an infant when the United States sent his family to an internment camp.
He said the project is full of meaning.
“It is a gesture to be victims but also to bring supporters of our flag and our country. Despite the fact that our country made a serious mistake, ”said Honda.
Gogo said some survivors refused to sign. But most do.
Often sharing moving stories about struggle and racism that are relevant today.
“To remind people, sometimes history is particularly negative and often repeats itself in terms of racism and hatred,” he said.
He plans to donate the signed flags to museums on Fred Korematsu’s Day. Thus, the people behind the signatures will not be forgotten.
Gogo will be at the Japanese American Museum in San José for the flag signing on Saturday.