How The Japanese American Community Should Commemorate the 76th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

The Soul Consoling Tower marks the cemetery at the
Manzanar National Historic Site.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: National Park Service

LOS ANGELES — On this day, the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, many Japanese Americans will grit their teeth, expecting to see anti-Japanese comments, not to mention the racial slurs and racist comments that our community has had to endure for our entire history, and given the current political and social climate following the 2016 Presidential election, hate-based attacks are far more frequent and violent.

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Manzanar Cemetery Monument Restored – In Photos

Photo: National Park Service

In recent days, the National Park Service began work on restoring and painting the cemetery monument at Manzanar National Historic Site, and they shared photos of their work, now completed.

The famous white obelisk, the Soul Consoling Tower, is one of the few remaining structures from the Manzanar concentration camp and the cemetery it marks is where the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage is held each year on the last Saturday in April.

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2014 Public Historic Preservation Projects At Manzanar National Historic Site

The following is a press release from the National Park Service.


“Pool At Pleasure Park (later renamed Merritt Park),” circa 1943.
Photo: Ansel Adams

INDEPENDENCE, CA — The public is cordially invited to help make a concrete contribution at Manzanar National Historic Site this summer. Under the direction of National Park Service archeologists Jeff Burton and Laura Ng, two different volunteer historic preservation workshops will be offered:

August 15 – 17

In the historic administration and staff housing area, volunteers will be resetting missing stones, painting stones, and removing brush and sand from landscape features. Volunteers will be digging with shovels and small hand tools, cutting and loading brush, using wheelbarrows, collecting rocks to reconstruct landscape features, and occasionally screening sediments to retrieve artifacts. Read more of this post

National JACL Opposes LADWP’s Proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch Near Manzanar

On June 9, the National Japanese American Citizens League wrote letters to the general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and to the president of the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners, opposing their planned Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch, a 1,200-acre industrial solar energy generating facility that would be built in close proximity to the Manzanar National Historic Site.

A large-scale renewable energy facility built within Manzanar’s viewshed will prevent National Park Service staff and our community from teaching current and future generations about how the desolation of the area was a factor in the selection of Manzanar as the location for one of ten American concentration camps in which over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and their immigrant parents (denied citizenship by racist laws) were unjustly incarcerated during World War II. The isolation of the area was also used as a means of controlling the 11,070 people who were locked up behind the barbed wire at Manzanar, instilling in them a sense of desolation, fear, despair and hopelessness—the construction of this facility within Manzanar’s viewshed will forever destroy the ability to teach this crucial part of this history.

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