LOS ANGELES — The 43rd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Los Angeles-based Manzanar Committee, is scheduled for 12:00 PM PDT on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on US Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles.
Each year, over 1,000 people from diverse backgrounds, including students, teachers, community members, clergy and former incarcerees attend the Pilgrimage, which commemorates the unjust incarceration of over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry in ten American concentration camps, which were located in the most desolate, isolated regions of the United States. Manzanar was the first of these camps to be established.
This year, the Pilgrimage will commemorate the 70th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, authorizing the mass roundup and unjust incarceration of West Coast Japanese Americans during World War II. The event will also commemorate the 20th anniversity of the establishment of the Manzanar National Historic Site, which was authorized by legislation signed by President George H.W. Bush on March 3, 1992.
The afternoon program, held at the Manzanar cemetery site, will begin with a performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko, the first collegiate taiko group in North America.
The afternoon program will conclude with the traditional interfaith service and traditional Ondo dancing.
In addition to the daytime program, the popular Manzanar At Dusk (MAD) program follows that same evening, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at the Lone Pine High School gymnasium, located at 538 South Main Street (US Highway 395), in Lone Pine, nine miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, across the street from McDonald’s.
Through a creative presentation, small group discussions and an open mic session, MAD participants will have the opportunity to learn about the experiences of those incarcerated in the camps. Participants will also be able to interact with former incarcerees in attendance to hear their personal stories, to share their own experiences, and discuss the relevance of the concentration camp experience to present-day events and issues.
The Manzanar Committee has also announced that bus transportation to the Pilgrimage will be available from Los Angeles.
An air conditioned bus will depart from St. Francis Xavier Chapel Japanese Catholic Center (formerly the Maryknoll Japanese Catholic Center), 222 South Hewitt Street, Los Angeles, 90012, at 7:00 AM on April 28. They will arrive at the Manzanar National Historic Site at approximately 11:30 AM.
The bus will take participants to the Interpretive Center at the Manzanar National Historic Site following the afternoon program. The bus should arrive back in Los Angeles at approximately 8:30 PM.
Bus reservations are now being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information, or to make a reservation, call (323) 662-5102, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The non-refundable fare is $40.00 per seat.
Those wishing to attend the Manzanar At Dusk program that evening should make other transportation arrangements.
Pilgrimage participants are advised bring their own lunch, drinks and snacks as there are no facilities to purchase food at the Manzanar National Historic Site (restaurants and fast food outlets are located in Lone Pine and Independence). Water will be provided at the site.
Both the daytime program and the Manzanar At Dusk event are free and open to the public.
The Manzanar Committee is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when Constitutional rights are in danger. A non-profit organization that has sponsored the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the Manzanar Committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site.
LEAD PHOTO: Looking west towards the cemetery monument with the Eastern Sierras in the background during the 42nd Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 30, 2011, at the Manzanar National Historic Site. Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee.
Manzanar National Historic Site
Lone Pine High School
St. Francis Xavier Chapel Japanese Catholic Center
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