By Eileen Yamada Lamphere
Japanese American Citizens League Puyallup Valley Chapter Vice President
Kent, Wash. — “Growing Up Behind Barbed Wire,” the interactive presentation about the journey that many Japanese Americans from the White River Valley in Washington state took during WWII, was presented at the Boeing Employee Engagement Brown Bag Lunch series on May 13.
Through the magic of telecommunications, the program went international! Lilly Kato and Amy Kato, Puyallup Valley members, from Kent, shared their wartime stories through film clips from The Legacy of Heart Mountain and photos from the Densho website. This program was coordinated with the Greater Kent Historical Society (GKHS) and its executive director, Zach Van Tassel. Allan Reiten, treasurer for the GKHS, made the arrangements with the Boeing Company, and Eileen Yamada Lamphere, vice president of Puyallup Valley and board member of GKHS, was the moderator.
Lilly Kato commented that the site of the Boeing presentation was the pre-war site of her husband’s family farm. This fact drew the attention of many in attendance. Many in the audience did not know or had misinformation about the incarceration camps and the imprisonment of Japanese American citizens.
Thank you “Mr. Boeing” for the opportunity to share the legacy.