Remembering Manzanar is hard because there are so many complex layers of sadness, dignity, shame, loyalty, good intentions, bad intentions, confused intentions, life and loss mixed into the memories. Approximately 10,000 Japanese Americans were abruptly relocated here after Pearl Harbor, including some of my husband’s relatives and some of our friends.
This was the auditorium that was used for social functions and as a gym. It has been remodeled inside as an interpretive center, a museum of sorts.
They were all similar in their barrenness.
It is now left to the imagination, what the residents originally did with this “Hospital Garden” space.
An origami tribute
The guard tower, the constant reminder that this was not home, it would never be home. Our friend tells us that he would sneak out sometimes at night and taunt the guards with his friends. But ultimately, he would have to endure many years in this place before he tasted true freedom once again. Here’s to hoping that we can continue to learn from the mistakes of our past.