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2009 Minidoka Pilgrimage Honors Japanese-American Internee'sSalem-News.com
The 2009 event will take place at the College of Southern Idaho.
(SEATTLE) - Sixty-seven years ago, during World War II, almost thirteen thousand people of Japanese ancestry, many of whom were American citizens, were forcibly removed from their homes in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, and sent to a desolate “internment camp” near Twin Falls, Idaho.
To commemorate this event, former internees, their families, friends, and those interested in this historic event will make a pilgrimage from Seattle and Portland to the former Minidoka Internment Camp from June 26-28, 2009.
The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Nisei Veterans Committee, and the Friends of Minidoka invite all those who are interested to join us on our pilgrimage.
Minidoka served as an active concentration camp for over three years. Even today the site evokes a mixture of poignant memories and strong emotions: including feelings of denial, distrust, shame and joy. Those on the pilgrimage will revisit the site and reflect on memories shared in a supportive environment with family, friends and National Park Service officials.
“Our purpose is to honor all those who were incarcerated and suffered disrupted lives due to the rampant racism of the times and to pledge anew that “Never Again” will this be tolerated.” Said Gloria Shigeno Co-Chair Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee.
Today, most of the 33,000 acres that once were a part of Minidoka has been taken over by farms. Fortunately, in 2001, 73 acres along the North Side Canal and near the entrance to Minidoka was designated a National Monument. Participants will have the opportunity to visit the grounds of the National Monument twice during the weekend.
First, guided tours of what remains of the “camp” will be provided. The following day, a memorial service will be held at the National Monument to honor internees. Throughout the trip, there will be ample opportunities to share memories and stories, and reflect on the impact and significance of the incarceration.
In addition to the pilgrimage, The Friends of Minidoka will join with the Minidoka Internment National Monument Committee and the College of Southern Idaho to present an annual symposium on civil liberties.
The 2009 event will take place June 25 – 26 at the College of Southern Idaho. More information can be found on the Friends of Minidoka website: minidoka.org
Registration including transportation by bus from Seattle to Twin Falls, meals, and all related programming fees, has a cost of $250. A special rate of $200 is available for this entire package for seniors over age 75. Housing is additional. The cost for those who choose to meet the pilgrimage in Twin Falls is $100; the special rate for seniors over age 75 for this option is $85. Several area hotels have special Minidoka Pilgrimage rates that need to be arranged by May 15, 2009. Lodging costs are in addition to all pilgrimage packages.
Registration is due by June 10, 2009.
To register or for more hotel and registration information, please contact Keith Yamaguchi at: Tel: 206-767-0914, firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the Minidoka Pilgrimage website: minidokapilgrimage.org/
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