Manzanar

Manzanar

On my recent trip to the Bay Area, I thought about stopping by Manzanar. I've been there before, almost accidentally finding it on the way back from Lake Tahoe. But I figure amidst the constant stream of lockdown complaints, seeing where American-born citizens (and immigrants who could have been citizens were it not for anti-Asian naturalization restrictions) were herded into the desert and kept behind barbed wire for four years because of their ancestry should lend some perspective.

The park service has done a good job preserving what remains of the (concentration) camp with some description of what used to be there (like the now-gone building where women were tasked with producing supplies for the war effort).

The impressions that stick in my mind are the guard towers visible from the highway (that's how I realized I was passing by Manzanar), the desert terrain and heat that must have greeted the families when they arrived and had to start digging their own latrines, and the cemetery where those who died during those years are buried (including some pets).

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