|Above, what's left of a Japanese garden built 70 years ago. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Yesterday, I headed off for a spur-of-the-moment (for me, anyway) trip up the Owens Valley in California.
It has been about 23 years since I was last in the region and I was eager to go.
The first stop was the infamous Manzanar Relocation Center near Independence, California, where several hundred thousand Japanese-Americans were incarcerated under Executive Order #9066 signed on February 19,1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (for some reason, Democrat presidents seem to have a thing for executive orders). Manzanar was one of several relocation camps set up following the Pearl Harbor attack. The executive order was one of the most shameful acts in U.S. history.
Back during my college days, I worked for Assemblyman Paul T. Bannai as a field representative. Bannai was incarcerated at Manzanar during his youth.
Most of the structures at Manzanar are gone, and what's there consists of reproductions and a nice visitor center. I took the drive-through tour of the camp in The Beast. Manzanar is currently operated by the National Park Service.
Here are some photos of Manzanar:
|Above, the visitor center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, some of the exhibits in the visitor center. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, a diorama of Manzanar Relocation Camp. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, a reproduction of camp housing barracks. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, the iconic cemetery monument. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, a reproduction of a guard tower. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
|Above, a close-up of the top of the guard tower. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|