LOS ANGELES — On March 12, the Manzanar Committee announced that, out of an abundance of caution, the 51st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and the 2020 Manzanar At Dusk program, both scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020, have been postponed due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 virus.
“The unfolding public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus made the decision to postpone the Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk program both necessary and easy to make,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “Our primary concern is for the health, welfare and safety of our participants. Nevertheless, this decision was difficult because we are losing an opportunity to raise our voices to say, ‘Stop repeating history.’ We know the dangers to the health and well-being of people in concentration camps. We know how easily people will suffer and die under these conditions, especially children. We know because our families witnessed it. We need to tell our story, now more than ever, because our story is a cautionary one.”
“Many of our elected officials choose to obscure our country’s past and to distort the lessons of Executive Order 9066,” added Embrey. “We know, first-hand, the trauma of needlessly incarcerating innocent people behind barbed wire or in cages.”
“Honestly, there is no more important time than now to tell our story and to demand this Administration stop repeating history. This is precisely the time we need to stand together for civil rights for all, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or how they worship. This is why that, even though it is necessary, postponing the Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk is such a difficult thing to do.”
Those who have made reservations on the Little Tokyo bus to the Manzanar Pilgrimage will receive full refunds. Those who have made reservations on the Gardena bus should contact the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute at (310) 324-6611 for information.
Although the annual Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk events have been postponed, the Manzanar National Historic Site, which is administered by the National Park Service, remains open and fully operational, as of this writing. Those planning to visit Manzanar should check their web site, https://www.nps.gov/manz, for the latest information regarding their status.
The Manzanar Committee will continue to monitor the situation and will provide information at a later date regarding either a new date for the Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk program, or their cancellation.
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. For more information, check out our web site at https://manzanarcommittee.org, call us at (323) 662-5102, and e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the Manzanar Committee on Facebook, on Twitter at @manzanarcomm, on Instagram at @manzanarcommittee, on Pinterest and on YouTube.
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