SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – It was 70 years ago that U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt issued the executive order that led to the internment of more than 110,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.

It was a somber day of remembrance in San Francisco’s Japantown on Sunday as the bitter memories and legacy of internment still linger within the Japanese American community.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

“We want to remind everyone about this sad moment in American history,” said Lane Hirabayashi, professor of Asian American Studies at UCLA.

His uncle, Gordon Hirabayashi, fought against the internment order when he was a 24-year-old student. Hirabayashi said that the experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II still have relevance today.

“One of the things that we have on our minds right now is the recent part of the National Defense Act where the president has assumed the right and the power to summarily detain anyone who is thought to be a threat to national security,” he said.

Hirabayashi gave the keynote speech at the Bay Area Day of Remembrance in San Francisco’s Japantown on Sunday.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation apologizing for the internment.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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