Manzanar Pilgrimage Details Announced
MANZANAR PILGRIMAGE: Preliminary details announced for 50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar at Dusk; Bus transportation available from Downtown Los Angeles.
The 50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles. Manzanar was the first of the American concentration camps in which more than 120,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents were unjustly incarcerated during World War II.
Each year, more than 1,000 people from all walks of life attend the Manzanar Pilgrimage. Planning is underway for the afternoon event, as well as for the annual Manzanar At Dusk program, which follows each Pilgrimage that same evening.
This year’s Manzanar Pilgrimage will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first organized Manzanar Pilgrimage in 1969. “The Manzanar Pilgrimage has endured. It has become an important part of our community’s effort to make sure our nation remembers what can happen when the rights of any community are trampled upon under the guise of national security concerns or because of xenophobia,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey.
“The Pilgrimages were a quest, searching for the truth of what happened, led mostly by young Sansei (third generation Japanese Americans),” added Embrey. “As it got more established, the Pilgrimage became a safe place for the survivors of camp to talk story, revealing the atrocities of camp, and educating the younger generations and broader public about our story. In some ways, Pilgrimages created the basis for the redress movement to be established and grow, and it helped prepare the community to talk about their unjust incarceration at the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians hearings in the early 1980s.”
Embrey added that over the past 50 years, the Manzanar Pilgrimage has sought to honor and remember the strength, endurance and dedication of the former incarcerees. “This year, we hope to capture how strength and endurance has been central to demanding justice over the decades," he said. "It is this enduring spirit and search for truth that has kept the Pilgrimage alive and relevant, and has made it an important voice in our nation’s dialogue about civil rights.”
Cultural performances begin at 11:30 AM PDT, while the main portion of the program begins at 12:00 PM. Both the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit https://blog.manzanarcommittee.org/ or to reserve a seat on the bus departing from Little Tokyo, call (323) 662-5102 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.