2015 "Day of Remembrance" Essay Contest Winners

Each year, the So. Co. JACL invites Sonoma County, Mendocino County and Napa County high school and middle school students to participate in an essay contest to commemorate the Day of Remembrance (DOR), February 19. Executive Order 9066 was initiated on this day which led to the incarceration of over 120,000 American Citizens and those of Japanese ancestry during World War II. The Day of Remembrance is observed annually to remind us of this unfortunate incident in the history of the United States and the need for continued vigilance to avoid such an occurrence in the future.

Every year, a flier with the topic, criteria and deadline are sent to both public and private local schools through the English and Social Studies departments. Cash prizes are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in both middle and high school. 

The topic for 2016 was as follows:

Japanese military forces bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry from their homes on the West Coast to prison camps in desolate areas. 

The people in the camps were required to fill out a loyalty questionnaire. Two questions were particularly troublesome for many: Question 27, which asked if they would be willing to serve in the U.S. military and Question 28, which asked if they would swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America, forswearing any form of allegiance to the Japanese emperor.

Reaseach the incarceration of the people of Japanese ancestry during WWII. In particular, look for information on the No-No Boys and questions 27 & 28 of the loyalty questionnaire. Why would those questions be so troublesome to many of those imprisoned but not to others?


2016 Winners:

High School:

1st Place:  Francisco Soto, Piner High School

Click here to see Francisco's essay

2nd Place:  Rhiannon Powell, Technology High School

3rd Place:  Madeline Strom, Analy High School


Middle School:

3rd Place:  Jaiden Ronshausen,  Santa Rosa Middle School



2015 Winners:

High School:
1st
Ryan Kahle
Montgomery High

Click here to see Ryan's essay

2nd
Iris M. Berto
Technology High School


3rd
Joanna Wheeldin
Technology HS


Middle School:
1st
Elijah Albertson
Hillcrest Middle School

Click here to see Elijah's essay

2nd
Grace Casteel
Hillcrest Middle School


3rd
Mikayla Mieko Brown
Santa Rosa Middle School