A Reminder of History’s Past

Recently while driving around on Bainbridge Island, Washington, I visited a memorial site that I was not aware of before. It is the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. Dedicated in 2011, it is a wall paying homage to the American men, women, and children of Japanese descent who were rounded up and forced from their Bainbridge Island homes, put on a ferry to Seattle, and then put on a train bound for remote American concentration camps in the California Sierra Nevada mountains, and later to Idaho. This event happened on March 30, 1942, during WWII. The memorial wall is a beautifully designed wooden structure with names of 276 Japanese Americans and is located on the same grounds that these island citizens were sent off on a ferry across Puget Sound to Seattle. Below are a few snapshots I took of the memorial site.

003Footbridge entrance to memorial from forested path

005Inscription on memorial wall reads, Nidoto Nai Yoni – Let it Not Happen Again


006Colorful, ornamental origami cranes hang from the memorial wall

010Wood relief image depicting life in the concentration camps


The memorial site ends at the water’s edge, the same spot where the Japanese Americans were sent off on a ferry to Seattle. You can spot a pair of ferries in the background, docked across the waterway that are in use today.


You can read more on the history of the area and memorial site, along with directions to the memorial site by clicking on the link at the top of this blog.


Photos by Peggy A Thompson


About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store, http://www.zazzle.com/northwestphotos.
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7 Responses to A Reminder of History’s Past

  1. Gunta says:

    Nice memorial for a stain on our history. I wonder if we’ll ever learn?

    • I really like the quiet, wooded setting that the memorial sits in. The whole area is pretty rural. As far as history goes, it’s really weird that in my old school days we never heard or read anything about these American concentration (internment) camps. I can’t fathom that anything like this could happen again. But then again, I don’t believe that anyone in any point in history fathomed anything like this happening. Frightening, isn’t it?

  2. It is a good monument to the time. I think many people today know of the broad strokes of the Japanese internment camps, but perhaps not the local stories like this.

  3. This bit of sad history was new to me, Peggy. It’s very fitting that there should be a memorial to these unfortunate people.

  4. Fabulous post…I had no idea that was there, I’m going to check it out when I get over there again. I have listened to those story’s being told by those who where there and I was always amazed by this collective bit of our history.

Thank you!

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