Manzanar . . . the song
Well, looks like the Manzanar internment “experience” has hit Kickstarter . . . nothing against people telling their story . . . BUT . . . keep it real.
Yeh, people lost a lot . . . if not everything when they were interned, but they persevered . . .
What bothers me is the fact that the War Relocation Authority HAD to remove the buildings from the site is overlooked . . . the land lease agreement between the WRA and the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power stipulated that the structures were to be removed when the camp was closed, they weren’t removed out of “shame” as stated in a comment by a Kickstarter project backer:
“I live 1.5 hours away from Manzanar, and when my family an I went to visit the camp we where (sic) struck by how little was left there… Like the government had stripped everything away in shame.”
The barracks and mess halls were sold to returning military personnel and private citizens, and were “relocated” to towns in Owens Valley and farms in the San Joaquin Valley. Some structures were reassembled in different configurations using the lumber of dismantled barracks.
I sat on the Manzanar Advisory Commission for 8 years and participated in many of the meetings conducted by the National Park Service regarding the development of Manzanar National Historic Site (MNHS) in addition to conducting guided interpretive walking tours of the site for 3 years BEFORE there were NPS interpretive personnel on-site.
p.s. I was on-site with NPS Superintendent Ross Hopkins (retired) when the faux stumps were retuned to their original location(s) next to the Military Police sentry building – they had been at a residence driveway in the nearby town of Independence. See the above photo.
Oh, FYI . . . my name (Richard Stewart) is on the plaque on the west side of the Auditorium (Interpretive Center) with the other Manzanar Advisory Commission members.