MANZANAR – Forty years after a group of 100 to 200 went back to the desolate site of the Manzanar concentration camp, more than 2,000 returned to the desert on a windy, cool day to reflect on the Japanese American internment experience and the lessons it continues to teach about racism and tolerance…

Thirteen buses brought partici­pants from Northern and Southern California. Among the schools joining the pilgrimage were Virgil Middle School of Los Angeles, Pasadena City College, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Los Angeles City College and San Francisco State University…
More than 100 Muslims, including representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, also joined in this year’s pilgrimage and participated in the discussions during the Manzanar After Dark program held in Lone Pine.
At the interfaith service, religious rites were per­formed by Christian, Buddhist, Shinto and Muslim ministers. Imam Ali Siddiqui, who offered prayers during the interfaith service, said gatherings such as the pilgrimage made him hopeful for the future.
“It is a good feeling, a feeling of community. That people of different faiths and ethnicities can come together during difficult times to ensure that these things do not happen again and hold our government responsible,” Siddiqui said. (More)


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