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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Manzanar War Relocation Center

Rick Morgan

One of the things we like to do while traveling is stop and see places or things that interest us. They could be National Parks, Historic or local Sites or just pretty areas, places or things.


One of special interest to us, are the ten Japanese Internment Centers that were erected during WWII, between the years 1942 – 1945. Over the years, we have visited other such sites.



No need for a history lesson here. We may not completely understand, but we all know the debate behind the process of relocating the lives of over 120,000 men, woman and children, residents of the United States, (about one-third of them being actual American citizens), were without any due process, moved to relocation centers.



In our attempt to have a better understanding of the process, we visited Manzanar. It is located in the Owens Valley in California, at the foot of the Eastern Sierra Mountains. The site has now proclaimed the best-preserved of the former camp sites, and is a National Historic Site.

It is a heart-tugging experience walking through rooms that echo the voices, laughter and cries of the inhabitants, seeing through pictures personal accounts and films of their daily life. Driving along the 3.5 mile self guided auto tour of the well maintained grounds one can only imagine the harsh and imprisoned life of the 12,000 inhabitants. The visitor center has an excellent film with the story being told by the voices of the internees.


It was point in time, a historic time, and a very sad time. 

October 19. 2013