LOS ANGELES – The 49th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2018, 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.
This year’s Pilgrimage will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which provided redress and reparations for the survivors of America’s World War II concentration camps, and other confinement sites, in which more than 110,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents were unjustly incarcerated during World War II.
Cultural performances will begin at 11:30 AM PDT, while the main portion of the program begins at 12:00 PM.
Each year, more than 1,000 people from all walks of life attend the Pilgrimage, including students, teachers, community members, clergy and former incarcerees. Planning is underway for the afternoon event as well as for the Manzanar At Dusk program, scheduled from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM that same evening at Lone Pine High School, approximately eight miles south of Manzanar National Historic Site.
Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at California State University, Long Beach, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego.
Through a creative presentation, small group discussions and an open mic session, Manzanar At Dusk 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.
Pilgrimage participants are advised to 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, which are nearby). Water will be provided at the site.
Those who wish to participate in the traditional flower offering during the interfaith service are advised to bring their own flowers.
Pilgrimage participants should also be aware of the fact that weather in the Owens Valley can be unpredictable, and can change rapidly. The Manzanar Committee advises participants that they should always wear a hat, use sunscreen (ultraviolet light is not affected by clouds and is more intense at higher elevations), and to be prepared for any kind of weather, including high winds, heat, cold, and rain.
Further details about the Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk program will be announced at a later date.
The Manzanar Committee has also announced that bus transportation to the Pilgrimage will be available from Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo and Gardena.
The Little Tokyo bus, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, will depart at 7:00 AM, arriving at the Pilgrimage at approximately 11:30 AM, and will also take participants to the visitors center at the Manzanar National Historic Site following the afternoon program. The bus should arrive back in Los Angeles at approximately 8:30 PM.
Reservations for the Little Tokyo bus will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The non-refundable fare is $40.00 per seat, $20.00 for students (proof of student status required). Complimentary fares are available for those who were incarcerated at any of the former American concentration camps or other confinement sites during World War II.
The bus from Gardena is sponsored by the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute. Information on their bus to the Manzanar Pilgrimage can be found on their web site at https://gvjci.wufoo.com/forms/manzanar-pilgrimage-2018, or by calling their offices at (310) 324-6611.
Anyone wishing to attend the Manzanar At Dusk program that evening should make other transportation arrangements.
Both the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk programs are free and are open to the public. For more information, 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.
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.