Exhibit presents history of Japanese-American incarceration during World War II

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- February 19 is the Day of Remembrance: a day to remember the imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Now, there is a special exhibit by the Smithsonian Institution, which is filled with heart-wrenching stories.

After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States entered World War II. The exhibit at the Arizona Capitol Museum, titled "Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II", traces the story of Japanese internment camps, as well as the people who survived them.

"We're really happy to have all of these objects on display from the Smithsonian," said Stephanie Mahan with the Arizona Capitol Museum. "Some of them include family objects, photos, clothing, things that really bring this story to life, experience what the incarcerees were experiencing."

Donna Cheung is Chinese-American, but still feels strongly about what happened.

"Something called 'Dividing Arizona, Japanese-Americans and War-Time Incarcerations'," said Cheung, who is with the Japanese-American Citizens League. "Japanese-Americans who lived north of the line could stay where they were, but Japanese-Americans who lived south of the line, US-60, Grand Avenue, they either had to relocate or move, or they would be removed and had to be put into concentration camps."

It was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who signed an executive order that imprisoned 75,000 citizens, born in America, who were of Japanese descent.

"This exhibit not only physical photos, but even an interactive portion where you can look at additional artifacts and photos," said Cheung. "You can even watch interviews from Japanese-American citizens who were affected by the war."

Cheung says the incarceration of Japanese-Americans is a part of American history that should never be forgotten.

"Never again," said Cheung. "If we see those social forces, prejudice, hysteria based on fear-mongering, failure of political leadership, we need to step up as community members to say not again."

This Arizona Capitol Museum is free and open to the public, and there is no extra charge for this exhibit, which goes on until April 6.

Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II