Walking in Washington

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Former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki cut the ribbon for the 12th Freedom Walk on Saturday at the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in Washington. (Photo courtesy of NJAMF)

WASHINGTON.–The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation (NJAMF) held their 12th annual Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk on Saturday, April 3, 2010. The event was held at the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism, located at the intersection of Louisiana and New Jersey Avenues and D Street NW. The Freedom Walk is a historical and cultural activity which seeks to raise awareness about the Japanese American experience during World War II. The walk also highlights the vigilant role everyone must play in upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans.

Participants in the 12th Annual Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk. (Photo courtesy of NJAMF)

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the National Japanese American Memorial. To celebrate this anniversary, a special group of former internees came together to share their personal experiences of life in the camps and military service during World War II.

Ichiro Fujisaki, ambassador of Japan to the United States and Norman Mineta, former Transportation Secretary, were honored for their long support of the Freedom Walk and dedication to the mission of the foundation.

“I am so proud to be honored by an organization I care about so deeply,” said Mineta. “I have worked for many years to highlight the struggles and patriotism of Americans of Japanese ancestry, and the work of NJAMF is vitally important to keeping that memory alive. I thank the Foundation for this honor.”

Over 200 people attend the Freedom Walk each year. The walk began with a series of distinguished speakers, followed by a short, non-competitive walk to affirm our resolve to uphold the constitutional rights of all Americans.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week, citywide event featuring daily cultural performances, arts & crafts exhibit /demonstrations. It celebrates the 97th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the citizens of the United States and Japan.

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