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Originally published Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Bill gives national status to Bainbridge internment memorial

The bill creating the Wild Sky Wilderness also gives national status to a Bainbridge Island memorial marking the internment of local Japanese...

Seattle Times environment reporter

The bill creating the Wild Sky Wilderness also gives national status to a Bainbridge Island memorial marking the internment of local Japanese Americans during World War II.

The memorial under construction at the former Eagledale Ferry Dock marks the place where the first forcible roundup of Japanese Americans occurred. On March 30, 1942, 227 Bainbridge residents were put onto a ferry; they eventually were taken to an internment camp in California's Mojave Desert during the war.

The bill would make the site part of a national monument managed by the National Park Service.

"The Bainbridge Island Memorial will become a focal point on the West Coast for memories, healing and education," Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project, said in a statement released Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, a Bainbridge Island resident, said the memorial "proclaims that we should never again sacrifice liberty at the altar of fear."

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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