44th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage


             Manzanar National Historic Site and its partners are hosting special events and exhibits in conjunction with the Manzanar Committee’s 44th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage this weekend. Visitors are invited to experience art, music, dance, talks, and more. All events are free.

On Friday, April 26, the Friends of Eastern California Museum will host a public reception from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Eastern California Museum. Located at 155 Grant Street in Independence, the museum’s exhibits include Shiro and Mary Nomura’s Manzanar collection, a centennial retrospective on the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the Norman Clyde exhibit, and the Anna and O.K. Kelly Gallery of Native American Life. Eastern California Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Friday and Saturday, the hours of operation for the Manzanar Visitor Center are extended to 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The center offers extensive exhibits and an award-winning film, as well as special Junior Ranger activities for kids. Manzanar History Association is hosting book signings by Manzanar to Mount Whitney: The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker author Hank Umemoto Saturday and Sunday, as well as the annual Selected Artists from the Henry Fukuhara Annual Alabama Hills and Manzanar Workshop art show and sale which runs through May 18.

The Manzanar Committee’s 44th Annual Pilgrimage begins at noon Saturday at the Manzanar Cemetery with the procession of camp banners and a performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko. This year’s Pilgrimage coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Speakers include Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred Korematsu and co-founder of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education. Manzanar Committee will honor Warren Furutani with the 2013 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award in recognition of his decades of work spanning from the 1969 Manzanar Pilgrimage to the California State Assembly where he championed the Nisei Diploma Project as well as California’s annual Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.  

The Pilgrimage program concludes with the traditional interfaith service and Ondo dancing. More information about the Pilgrimage program is posted on the Manzanar Committee’s website at http://blog.manzanarcommittee.org.

After the Pilgrimage program concludes, park rangers will offer walking tours to those wishing to explore Manzanar. Tour highlights will include the Arai Fish Pond in Block 33 where Madelon Arai Yamamoto and Manzanar archeologist Jeff Burton will share stories and updates on the pond and ongoing restoration work from approximately 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.

The Manzanar At Dusk (MAD) program begins at 5:00 p.m. Saturday at Lone Pine High School located at 538 South Main Street (Hwy. 395) in Lone Pine. The program offers participants opportunities for intergenerational discussions and sharing. The MAD program is co-sponsored by the Manzanar Committee and the Nikkei Student Unions of Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, UCLA, and UCSD. 

Sunday’s events begin at 9:30 a.m., with the dedication of a plaque at the Manzanar Visitor Center honoring the eleven people who served on the Manzanar Advisory Commission. From 1992 to 2002, Congress authorized the Commission, composed of “former internees, local residents, tribal representatives, and the public,” to guide Manzanar’s development, management, and interpretation.

At 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Karen Korematsu will present a program entitled Fred Korematsu:  The Man Who said “No” to the Internment of Japanese Americans in the visitor center’s west theater. After the presentation, Ms. Korematsu will provide a free copy of the Fred T. Korematsu Teaching Kit tp each educator who attends the program. The kit features resources designed to connect World War II history to a post-9/11 world.

With the exception of Friday evening’s reception and Saturday evening’s MAD program, all events will take place at Manzanar National Historic Site located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, nine miles north of Lone Pine, and approximately 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The Manzanar Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with extended hours (to 5:30 p.m.) on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27. There is no food service at Manzanar. Please bring a lunch or snacks, water, and, if possible, a chair. Wear a hat and comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

For more information, please call (760) 878-2194 ext. 3310, visit www.nps.gov/manz or check out www.facebook.com/ManzanarNationalHistoricSite.


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29 Responses to 44th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

  1. Tom O. April 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    And Ill do my annual pilgrimage to The USS Arizona this summer.

    • Time to let WWII go April 24, 2013 at 5:41 am #

      More “I can’t let go of how great America was during the good ol’ WWII days” flag-waving nonsense.
      Yet these same people totally forget how innocent women and children were nuked (against the better judgement of military men: Eisenhower, McArthur and many others)
      and ushered in a dangerous part of mankind’s long, long history – nuclear warfare.
      Let the WWII mentality die. Learn from Vietnam, Iraq, … Time to rebuild America. Time for peace.
      And yes, I know, the far-right would call me “a liberal peacenic.” So?

      • Desert Tortoise April 24, 2013 at 11:25 am #

        Are you aware that Japan had a nuclear weapons program that pre-dated the Manhatten Project? in fact, for a period of time during that war Japan’s nuclear weapons research was ahead of ours. This was something we were mostly unaware of until Japan declassified some documents in the 1980’s. They were quite prepared to use them against our forces in the Pacific. During a bombing raid on the Tokyo/Osaka area a load of bombs from a B-29 missed the intended target, pretty normal for bombers of that era, and the bombs took out a nuclear lab the US was unaware of. That setback allowed the US to use nuclear weapons first. Don’t kid yourself into thinking Japan would not have used them against us.

        Had the allies chose instead to conduct a conventional military invasion of Japan, estimates of allied dead ranged from 500,000 to 800,000 based on the casualty rates experienced during combat on Okinawa, which was considered a dress rehersal for the invasion of Japan proper. The US Navy lost over 5000 dead and 20 ships lost during the Okinawa campaign, probably the highest casualties the USN ever experienced. An invasion of Japan would be orders of magnitude more deadly. Japanese casualties were estimated in the tens of millions. Combat would have continued another 12-18 months at a minimum. Consider that huge Japanese armies remained untouched in New Guinea and China. By those standards, the two atomic bombings were a merciful way to end the war.

        Btw, my mother was part of the Manhatten project and an uncle was on his way to invade Japan when those bombs were dropped. My uncle was spared a meat grinder on a Japanese beach as he had faced earlier on Guadalcanal, so you will never hear an apology from this family for the two atomic bombing. Almost half of our POWs died in Japanese captivity (while only 10% died in German captivity) and the Japanese treated their captives and those who’s nations they took by force with barbarity. They richly deserved what they got. I do not have one ounce of sympathy for them.

        • Benett Kessler April 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

          Why is it necessary to have an opinion at all? It happened. People made the best judgments they could at the time. Let the hate end.
          Benett Kessler

          • Nuking was immoral April 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

            Benett, since we were raised with the notion that the nuking of civilians was the only way to end the war, I think this arrogance “We did it before – and we can do it again!” BS has been carried into present day.
            The new enemy is a kid with a pressure cooker.
            The notion of America always having “superior fire power” is a thing of the past. I wish this was being taught in our schools – but it is not.
            And as we read the comments supporting this terrible mistake the madness continues.

        • Nuking was immoral April 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

          Desert Tortoise –
          Perhaps you did not learn in grade school leaders including military who viewed the nuking of women and children as fundamentally immoral:

          “There are voices which assert that the bomb should never have been used at all. I cannot associate myself with such ideas. . . . I am surprised that very worthy people—but people who in most cases had no intention of proceeding to the Japanese front themselves—should adopt the position that rather than throw this bomb, we should have sacrificed a million American and a quarter of a million British lives. . . .
          – Winston Churchill

          “As American Christians, we are deeply penitent for the irresponsible use already made of the atomic bomb. We are agreed that, whatever be one’s judgment of the war in principle, the surprise bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are morally indefensible.”
          – Federal Council of Churches

          “Let me say only this much to the moral issue involved: Suppose Germany had developed two bombs before we had any bombs. And suppose Germany had dropped one bomb, say, on Rochester and the other on Buffalo, and then having run out of bombs she would have lost the war. Can anyone doubt that we would then have defined the dropping of atomic bombs on cities as a war crime, and that we would have sentenced the Germans who were guilty of this crime to death at Nuremberg and hanged them?” – Albert Einstein

          Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote in his memoir The White House Years:

          “In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives.”

          Other U.S. military officers who disagreed with the necessity of the bombings include General of the Army Douglas MacArthur,[98][99] Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy (the Chief of Staff to the President), Brigadier General Carter Clarke (the military intelligence officer who prepared intercepted Japanese cables for U.S. officials),and Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet.

          Time to start telling the truth about this mistake in our schools. Perhaps then and only then can the healing process begin.

          • Benett Kessler April 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

            Nuking, please see my last comment. We’ve said enough about this tragic event.
            Benett Kessler

          • Desert Tortoise April 24, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

            The US agreed in the 1943 Quebec Agreement not to use atomic weapons on Japan without prior British approval as the British were involved in the development of our first atomic weapons, aimed initially at Germany rather than Japan. Winston Churchill granted that approval through Field Marshall Wilson British Joint Staff Mission, and even asked the US to inclued British military personnel on the raids. While General LeMay refused to allow any British personnel on the first mission over Hiroshima, a pair of Brits accompanied the second raid over Nagasaki. Churchill was one of the very few foreign leaders privy to the Manhatten Project. The Canadians were the other partner in the Manhatten Project. It is also telling that in 1946 when the US cut off all foreign access to US nuclear programs (rightly as it turned out fearing Soviet infiltration of British intelligence services) Churchill ordered the creation of a purely British nuclear program.

            As for the contention that the Japanese had somehow sued for peace, this is also a fabrication. In fact, Hirohito had to make his capitulation speech in a secret site as the Army was actively trying to arrest him to prevent him from surrendering to the Allies. The IJA was of the opinion the US only had one such weapon. While civilian members of Japan’s war cabinet favored a negotiated surrender, the allies demanded an unconditional surrender and the IJA refused to surrender under any circumstances,preferring a great battle in Japan to capitulation. Their overwhelming power in Japan’s wartime government prevented any sort of negotiation for peace, even after the second atomic bomb was dropped.

        • Nuking was immoral April 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

          There is never any excuse for deliberately killing innocent women and children.
          My God help us if the majority of America sees no problem with this travesty.

          • What to the top brass know April 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

            I see there have been no comments regarding top military brass officials Eisenhower (a Republican, BTW) Stimson, MacArthur, Leahy, Clark, et al. all of whom opposed the murdering of innocent civilians in Japan nuking.

            What the hell do these military guys know … they must be bad Americans … right Desert Tortoise?

          • Benett Kessler April 24, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

            Please see Reality Check’s post.

          • Reality Check April 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

            You would be singing a different tune if you or a loved one was scheduled to be part of the invasion of Japan.

            War is just plain bad for both sides.

        • Karma and dead civilians April 24, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

          It seems to me the mindset that continues for some today (that it’s okay to waste civilians in the nuking of Japan) has now spilled over into modern times with the “Shock-and-Aweing” of Baghdad where even mosques were targeted with the intent to break the backs of the Iraqi people.
          For those intelligent enough to understand the Muslim faith, the destruction of their holy places has indeed put a force into action that includes a very real, eye-for-an-eye philosophy.
          And those responsible for this (The Bush/Cheney debacle) have come out smelling like a rose. Mr. and Mrs Cheney were former CEOs of defense contractors Halliburton and Lockheed Martin.
          Perhaps it has taken almost 70 years for karma to take effect (post-nuking) but it certainly does appear America is coming apart at the seams.

        • baby jesus April 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

          Desert Tortoise, maybe a desert Tortoise can actually teach you a thing or two. HAHA! You sure are an “interesting” person… Completely hates OHV use, but justifies the nuking of… what was it 300,000 people?
          You tree hugger types sure are a strange breed. Hopefully, for humanity’s sake, you don’t have any children…

          Sorry Benett, I just couldnt help myelf.

          • Desert Tortoise April 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

            Both my parents and all of my uncles were WWII veterans. Some faced the Japanese in combat in the Pacific. I served as a pilot in the Navy. I am not a pacifist by any means and I make absolutely no apologies for that. If you are not willing to fight to protect what we have here then you do not in any way deserve all the good things we have here in the US. I have absolutely no respect for cowards.

      • Reality Check April 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

        Try telling the Chinese or Koreans to get over WW2. They will never forget what was done to them. Why do you think North Korea shoots missles over Japan to this day?

        You are not a peacenic, you are just ignorant of history. Take a hard look at what happened on Iwo Jima and Okanawa regarding Japanese civilians who killed themselves. Multiply that a few thousand times for the invasion of Japan.

        As for locking up Japanese Americans up at Manzanar, it was a crime committed by our government because they looked different that German and Italian Americans. We continue to owe our fellow citizens an apology for what happened to them on our soil. The fact that in spite of being locked up in camps, they sent their sons off to fight and die in the European theater, is astounding and proves their absolute loyality to the United States.

        • Agree to disagree April 25, 2013 at 5:45 am #

          @ Realtity check –

          Dwight D. Eisenhower
          General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
          Secretary of War Stimson
          Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy
          Brigadier General Carter Clarke
          and Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet

          All of the above condemned Truman’s decision (who was elected by default by the way) to destroy innocent civilians’ lives by nuking them during World War II.

          According to you, the above military people must be guility of being “ignorant of history” aka not agreeing with the wanton destruction of the lives of innocent people.

          I for one, agree with the “ignorance” of those military men mentioned above and will NEVER accept killing civilians and later calling it “collateral damage” (the most recent episode of this sort of thing in Iraq.)

          So I guess we must agree to disagree.

          • War is Hell especially for civilians April 25, 2013 at 10:52 am #

            There is the belief that we are living in the darkest time in our long, long, history. Part of our culture is an uncaring attitude of things that happened in the past as though sticking one’s head in the sand or praying about things is going to insure certain mistakes will never occur again.

            In considering the justification of deliberately killing innocent civilians ie., Atomic bombs on non-military targets for any logistical reason our society seems to have already forgotten that there is a monumental difference between military people, who sign up for duty knowing full well what may happen to them on the battlefield, and the completely innocent women and children civilians who have absolutely no say whatsoever about an atomic bomb being dropped on them.

  2. ferdinand lopez April 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    war and hate will never end.as long as people have a difference of opinion,you will always have hate and war,and you better not disagree with me!!

    • The Dalai Lama in Hiroshima April 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      We need to be aware of all the nearly 7 billion people on the planet as “one human community.” If we think in terms of interdependence, we can begin to reduce these unhealthy situations. We are not powerless. “But through prayer we cannot solve these problems. These problems can be solved only through action. We must work hard, with vision.”

      The people of Hiroshima have actually suffered through a nuclear bomb, His Holiness said in conclusion, leaving his audience with some final words. So they can be the leaders in the attempt to ban nuclear weapons. “Logically, any human being who passes through difficult experience gains deeper knowledge. So, you have that experience; already, over the last few decades, you’ve been making an effort to eliminate nuclear weapons. That’s wonderful!”

      Returning through the late golden light to his hotel on the water, he found himself again surrounded by cameras and microphones. This was his fourth visit to the city, he said to a journalist, in answer to a question; and the first time he visited the Peace Museum, he had written in the guest book, `Fire cannot be extinguished by fire. Similarly, inner fire, which is hatred, cannot be extinguished by hatred. We need a more positive way of thinking.”

  3. Tim April 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    I like the historical implications of the monument. Just a few years ago it was seldom that I would observe a mixed race couple; today I continually see interesting combinations. Prior to technological advances that facilitated mass worldwide transportation and communication, we used ethnicity to identify our enemies. Today, with global desegregation and inter racial breeding, we are evolving into one people who are a mix of many races. We are evolving into a people who must identify an objectionable person by their character and not their race. The Manzinar site is a historical three dimensional document that chronicles our progress or lack there of in this evolution.

    • Desert Tortoise April 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      The tragedy of Manzanar and other such internment camps was that we arrested and imprisoned US citizens, many natural born US citizens, merely for being of Japanese ancestry. I believe we have learned that lesson and will not repeat it.

      • Tim April 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

        “I believe we have learned that lesson and will not repeat it.”
        I would like to agree with you except that I bet we said the same thing after the emancipation of African Americans resulting from the Civil War. Directly after The Civil War we went into the business of Western expansion and engaged in the removal of Native Americans. From there we interned Japanese as we segued into ideal policing during the McCarthy era of Communist witch hunts that targeting anyone who challenged the status quo. Just recently police publicly beat Rodney King which fueled the LA riots.
        I do not believe we have learned a complete lesson.

        • We/Them philosophy April 25, 2013 at 6:19 am #

          Tim –
          “I do not believe we have learned a complete lesson.”

          It’s the “we” part that I find myself focusing on. I’ve never been comfortable with group think. A character flaw I must have been born with.
          Some of us learn from the mistakes and prejudices of those before us.
          Others clearly do not.
          Especially those from strict father families bent on demonizing certain words such as “liberal.”

          • Benett Kessler April 25, 2013 at 8:45 am #

            Dear We and your many other names, please move on from the now repetitious dialogue about liberals and conservatives. There really is more to life and there are many, many individuals who do not live life by those categories. As someone earlier suggested, your own thumping on conservatives is beginning to sound like the hate you so consistently preach against.
            Benett Kessler

          • A Liberal California April 25, 2013 at 11:01 am #

            Bennet, I understand your concern on the liberal v conservative thing and based on the nature and substance of the majority of postings and the thumbs-up/thumbs-down to the subject matter, one could safely assume the bulk of your posters are (perhaps your friends and neighbors) lean way more right than left.

            California is well-known for its overall left-leaning, Democratic philosophy, so it must be a difficult burden for those living here who do not understand the true beauty of the live-and-let-live liberal philosophy as we Californians have so magnificently raised the bar for the rest of the country to shoot for.

          • Benett Kessler April 25, 2013 at 11:21 am #

            As I have said, I never look at the thumbs up and down. Means nothing to me. Neither to the judgments of people according to right, left and otherwise.
            Relax and focus on how to improve yourself instead of everyone else.

          • Not kidding anyone April 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

            “I never look at the thumbs up and down.”
            Oh, Benett … Please.

          • Benett Kessler April 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

            That is the truth. Part of my training as a news reporter has been not to care what other people think but to look for the best truth we can report.
            Benett Kessler


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