The 45th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, is scheduled for 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, 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.
Each year, hundreds of students, teachers, community members, clergy and former incarcerees attend the pilgrimage. Planning is under way for the afternoon event as well as for the Manzanar At Dusk program, scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. that evening at Lone Pine High School, located at 538 S. Main St. (Highway 395) in Lone Pine, nine miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, across the street from McDonald’s.
Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, UCLA, and UC 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). Water will be provided at the site.
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 pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site.