Blustery winds, blowing dust and winter-like temperatures did little to stop nearly 1,500 people from attending the 40th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on Saturday. In fact, more than one speaker described the humility pilgrims should feel for the internees who spent day after day, for years, in conditions like those experience this weekend…
The keynote speaker was Ron Wakabayashi, the regional director for the U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service. He was also one of the original pilgrims from 1969. He spoke of the event being more than just an opportunity to pay homage to those former internees, but as also a way to raise awareness of civil rights violations and other forced imprisonments.
Since the 9/11 attacks, the Manzanar Committee has been working with the Council on American-Islamic Relations to counter the negative stereotypes and prejudice against Muslim Americans.
In fact, at the Interfaith Religious Ceremonies, the prayer offered by Christian ministers included the refrain, “No more Manzanar, no more Quatanamo, no more Abu Graib, no more prisoner renditions.” (More)