"Memories & Heroics" World War II program in Pensacola

Graphic: Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida

The Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida is hosting two public events focused on the experiences of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

In December 1941, Japan declared war on the United States with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and other military bases in the Pacific.

The attacks created an atmosphere of fear across the country, especially on the West Coast.

Two months later, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, consigning 117,000 people of Japanese descent to "relocation centers" outside the Pacific military zone. The intent was to prevent espionage and to protect Japanese-Americans and their families from retaliation.

On September 18, internees and their families will discussed their experiences in a panel discussion titled "Memories from the Internment Camps." The program will be held at the West Florida Public Library branch on Spring Street in downtown Pensacola. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m., and the discussion is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Filmmaker Lane Nishikawa will attend a screening of his movie "Only the Brave" on September 21st. The film is about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a unit made up almost entirely of second generation Americans of Japanese ancestry. A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and the film starts at 6:00 p.m., at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition on Alcaniz Street in Pensacola.

Both programs are free and open to the public. The Japan-America Society of Northwest Florida asks attendees to pre-register on their website.

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