[title Chinese Reconciliation Park Moon Festival Goes Virtual – October 1st]
Caption #1 – A few years ago a diver found a beautiful Chinese bowl off shore from the original homes of the Chinese . . . a rare artifact of the expulsion event.
The Moon Festival with entertainment, moon cakes and more to eat has been a rousing success over the last several years. This year the entertainment and education will be all handled online.
Board President Theresa Pan welcomes everyone and explains, “I hope that we can all take the time to reflect on what reconciliation can mean in various parts of our world and use empathy to realize that our differences are what make us all similar.”
There will be musical groups performing and a children’s gentle story shares the joy of holding moonlight in your hands.
Bill Baarsma, mayor of Tacoma from 2001-2009, shares the historical details about the Chinese Park.
Lihuang Wung leads us out of the darkness and into the light as we travel the path of the Chinese Reconciliation Park and the Ting. I didn’t know about the bats and the large number of dragons that are there to be seen.
Nearly a hundred and thirty-five years ago a Tacoma mob that consisted of prominent businessmen, police, and political leaders forced our Chinese citizens out of their homes along the waterfront near Old Town and marched them to the south end of town to the small train station and sent them all south to Portland. Once gone their homes and businesses were burned down. The Chinese Reconciliation Park on the shores along Ruston Way on Commencement Bay is a reminder that we all need to work together and respect each other. A few years ago a diver found a beautiful Chinese bowl off shore from the original homes of the Chinese . . . a rare artifact of the expulsion event.
In 1992, the Chinese Citizens Reconciliation Committee began working on a special project to heal the wounds. The following year the Tacoma City Council issued a statement about the expulsion and our city began building efforts to unify our community. The Chinese Reconciliation Park broke ground in 2005. Featuring a mixture of traditional Chinese garden and the art the natural waterfront setting with sweeping views of Northeast Tacoma, The Port of Tacoma and Nearby Maury Island, the park is a great place to reflect on nature and friendly people in general. I’ve never visited the park without seeing both adults and children wandering the paths and enjoying themselves.
Lihuang Wung has a very nice hand for calligraphy as he explains on video the history of Chinese Calligraphy, shows the basic tools, and then writes a story in Chinese as an illustration.
Visit the Tacoma Chinese Park – tacomachinesepark.org/
Tune into the Virtual Moon Festival – tacomachinesepark.org/community/events/moon-festival/
Mary Clare Benson says
Thank you Don, for this reminder of the lovely park and the history it asks us not to forget but to use to spur reconciliation with those we have wronged so deeply. It is sad to me that not far from this park we have a privately run Detention Center holding hundreds of refugees, the bulk of them as prisoners, some of them for years. They work to be granted asylum so they can rejoin family members who live here, rather than be sent back to countries where their lives may be endangered. If our ancestors of perhaps just a generation or two back were treated this way, many of us would not be living here today.
Don Doman says
Thank you for commenting.
I couldn’t agree more with you on both counts. The Chinese Reconciliation Park was a marvelous idea. It brings . . . okay brought visitors to Tacoma before COVID. The planned pavilion will add even more interest to the park and Old Town.
I believe that the detention center is privately run, which means people are making money off the misery of others, which I abhor. Please, take a look at the video on the Moon Festival website for the video about Immigration and Refugees and the connection to the Reconciliation Foundation. It’s a Zoom meeting that runs only about 15 minutes.
Thanks for sharing. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.