Manzanar Committee’s Bruce Embrey At 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage: “Remembering Is Not Passive. We Must Act On Our Memories”

The following are Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey’s closing remarks at the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, held on April 25, 2015, at the Manzanar National Historic Site.


Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey, shown here delivering the closing remarks at the conclusion of
the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 25, 2015,
Manzanar National Historic Site.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

Today, we stand here, at this National Historic Site, on the very land that was once an American concentration camp. We stand here today having had Presidents apologize for this grave injustice. We’ve had Presidents name Fred Korematsu and Gordon Hirabayashi American heroes.

Ours is a powerful story, one we should be proud of telling. It is a story of a resilient people, who, facing one of the greatest failures of American democracy, chose to not only survive, but also to demand justice.

Ours is a powerful story, one of loss of freedom, of racism, and of being marched off to live behind barbed wire, and when forced to leave and resettle with little or no real support, the Japanese American community had mixed emotions. No doubt people were angry. How could you not be angry? Losing homes, businesses, schooling—being accused with absolutely no proof of being the enemy, of plotting to harm your own country, denied your birthright of citizenship, all because of your ancestry. Who wouldn’t be?

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Rev. Paul Nakamura: “A Ministry Bound With The Quest For Justice And Civil Rights For All” – Part 2

The following is the final installment of a two-part series on Reverend Paul Nakamura, who will be the 2015 recipient of the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award. An abbreviated version of this story appears in the printed program for the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, scheduled for April 25, 2015. Be sure to read the first installment, Rev. Paul Nakamura: A Ministry Bound With The Quest For Justice And Civil Rights For All – Part 1.


Rev. Paul T. Nakamura (left), shown here during the interfaith service at the Manzanar cemetery during the
34th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 24, 2004.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Tom Walker/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — Reverend Takeichi “Paul” Nakamura, 88, pastor of Lutheran Oriental Church in Torrance, California, who has been an integral part of the Manzanar Committee since its earliest years, has blended activism and faith in ways that few religious leaders have done before.

Rev. Paul, as he is known to his parishioners and so many others, will be honored by the Manzanar Committee at the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 25, 2015, as the recipient of the 2015 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was also one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site.

As much as Rev. Paul has done with the Manzanar Committee, his activism and contributions to the community, as noted in the first installment of this series, extends far beyond the boundaries of the Manzanar cemetery, where the interfaith service is held during each Pilgrimage, or the pulpit of his Torrance church.

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Rev. Paul Nakamura: “A Ministry Bound With The Quest For Justice And Civil Rights For All” – Part 1

The following is Part 1 of a two-part series on Reverend Paul Nakamura, who will be the 2015 recipient of the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award. An abbreviated version of this story appears in the printed program for the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, scheduled for April 25, 2015. Be sure to read the second installment of the expanded series at: Rev. Paul Nakamura: A Ministry Bound With The Quest For Justice And Civil Rights For All – Part 2″


Rev. Paul T. Nakamura, shown here during the interfaith service at the Manzanar cemetery during the
34th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 24, 2004.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Tom Walker/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — Those who have attended the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and have participated in its interfaith service have probably noticed him—a small, older man, one of the Christian ministers, leading the crowd in reciting the litany.

You may remember him because of the hat he always wears, or maybe it was his slight Pidgin English accent, a by-product of his upbringing in Waialua, Oahu, Hawai’i.

That unassuming, very modest, yet powerfully spoken minister is Reverend Takeichi “Paul” Nakamura, 88, who serves as pastor of Lutheran Oriental Church in Torrance, California.

Rev. Paul, as he is known to his parishioners and so many others, will be honored by the Manzanar Committee at the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 25, 2015, as the recipient of the 2015 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was also one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site.

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Manzanar Committee Welcomes Removal of Japanese American Incarceration-Related Artifacts From Auction

To download a copy of this press release,
click on the image above.
(Adobe Reader software required to view/print).

LOS ANGELES — On April 16, the Manzanar Committee, sponsors of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, and the more recent Manzanar At Dusk program, joined the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF), the Ad Hoc Committee to Oppose the Sale of Japanese American Historical Artifacts, and many other organizations and individuals in the community, in welcoming the removal of artifacts from the World War II concentration camps in which over 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were unjustly incarcerated from the auction block.

The auction would have featured 450 prisoner craft objects, personal items, art works and heritage artifacts from the camps, which were given to Allen H. Eaton, the original collector, under the assumption that they would be put on exhibit to educate people about the Japanese American Incarceration experience, and not sold.

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