50th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage Set for April 27

At last year’s pilgrimage, the monument in the Manzanar cemetery is adorned with strings of paper cranes as pilgrims offer flowers and prayers. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

The 50th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 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.

Manzanar was the first of the American concentration camps in which more than 120,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents were unjustly incarcerated during World War II.

Each year, more than 1,000 people from all walks of life attend the Manzanar Pilgrimage, including students, teachers, community members, clergy and former incarcerees. Planning is under way for the afternoon event, as well as for the annual Manzanar At Dusk program, which follows each pilgrimage that same evening.

This year’s event will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first organized Manzanar Pilgrimage in 1969.

“The fact that the Manzanar Committee and the Manzanar Pilgrimage have been in existence for 50 years, enduring and spanning generations. is very important to take stock of,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “The Manzanar Pilgrimage has endured. It has become an important part of our community’s effort to make sure our nation remembers what can happen when the rights of any community are trampled upon under the guise of national security concerns or bec