Wartime Experience: Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage set for April 25

Forwarded for the Manzanar Committee

51st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage/2020 Manzanar At Dusk Set for April 25, 2020

PILGRIMAGE: Preliminary details announced for 51st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and 2020 Manzanar At Dusk; Bus transportation available from Downtown Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES (January 23, 2020) — Standing Together for Civil Rights is the theme for the 51st Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020, 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, including students, teachers, community members, clergy and former incarcerees. Planning is underway for the afternoon event, as well as for the annual Manzanar At Dusk program, which follows each Pilgrimage that same evening.

Cultural performances will begin at 11:30 AM PDT, while the main portion of the program begins at 12:00 PM.

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, but participants are asked to bring a refillable water bottle that can be filled at refilling stations on 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 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, and lip balm (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.

The Manzanar At Dusk program, which is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at California State University, Fullerton, California State University, Long Beach, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Riverside, and the University of California, San Diego, will follow a couple of hours after the Manzanar Pilgrimage at 5:00 PM at Lone Pine High School, 538 South Main Street (U.S. Highway 395), approximately eight 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, 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.

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.

The bus will depart at 7:00 AM, arriving at the Pilgrimage at approximately 11:30 AM, and will also take participants to the Visitor 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 donation is $50.00 per seat (the Manzanar Committee subsidizes the cost of the bus). Complimentary seats are available for those who were incarcerated at any of the former American concentration camps or other confinement sites during World War II.

Bento (Japanese-style) lunches are also available for those travelling on the bus for $15.00 each.

Anyone wishing to attend the Manzanar At Dusk program that evening should make other transportation arrangements.

To reserve a seat on the Little Tokyo bus, go to https://manzanarcommittee.org/51st-bus   or call (323) 662-5102.

Those wishing to sponsor a bus seat or otherwise help defray the rising costs of sponsoring the Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk each year are encouraged to make a donation by sending a check, payable to the Manzanar Committee, 1566 Curran St., Los Angeles, 90025-2036.

Both the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk programs are free and open to the public.

For more information, check the Manzanar Commiteee web site, https://manzanarcommittee.org, send e-mail to 51stpilgrimage@manzanarcommittee.org, or call (323) 662-5102.

The Manzanar Committee, a 501c(3) non-profit organization, 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.

An all-volunteer 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.