Silent Sunday – August 28, 2016

The cemetery at Manzanar National Historic Site, Independence, CA. About 150 people died here during the mass internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, and while most were either cremated or moved by family after the war, six people remain.


    1. Hi Little Monster Girl! Thanks for checking in with me! I really appreciate it. I’m doing pretty good, overall (aside from the election results here in the U.S., and I’ll leave that at: I am truly and deeply disappointed). Life circumstances dictated that I had to take a break from IP for a while. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to come back. I hope you are doing well!

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  1. What a stark photo. I read “Echo” by Pam Muñoz Ryan while traveling over the summer. It’s a Middle Grade novel that interweaves stories of young people during WWII. One girl helps take care of the house of a Japanese family who were forced into an internment camp. When my son was in 5th grade, they had visitors who talked about their personal experiences in the camps. Very moving and memorable for the kids. Another thread of the story is about a family in Nazi Germany, and another is about two boys who are orphans during WWII. It’s a beautiful book, really well written. The quality of middle grade and YA novels is really up there these days.


  2. It’s impossible for me not to think that such an appalling history could repeat itself, were the right (or wrong) people in power to decide on a similar fate for our “dangerous enemy aliens”. One would hope that there are far too many of us who would fight tooth and nail against such a thing, and yet the horrifying part is that so many others who would blindly support it…


    1. Thank you, Tricia. The landscape is truly unforgettable – the Sierra Nevadas loom up behind the camp and it is so exposed. Yesterday, when I visited, it was in the low 80’s with only a slight breeze – pretty mild for a summer day out there, but you could still feel the raw power of nature out there. The conditions are so extreme.

      Every year at the end of April there is a pilgrimage to the cemetery in honor of all of the survivors and those that were lost. The Park Service saves many of the notes and mementos people leave. The six remaining graves have become a focal point for both grief and healing. It is a powerful place.

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    1. After the war, the U.S. government bulldozed the whole place, literally buried it with sand, and it wasn’t until 1992 that the U.S. Parks department was given authority over the site. They have done a good job with it overall. It is completely free of charge to visit and they have reconstructed one of the barracks and a mess hall to give you a sense of the place as it was, uncovered some of the gardens and building foundations, but otherwise they have left it alone. The starkness and sadness seeps into you, the vastness of the landscape, the silence…

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