More than a thousand visitors participated in a variety of special activities surrounding the Manzanar Committeeâs 38th annual Pilgrimage on April 28, 2007. On Friday, the Independence Chamber of Commerce and the Friends of Eastern California Museum hosted a public reception. The Pilgrimage ceremony Saturday featured guest speakers, an interfaith memorial service, taiko drumming, and bagpipe music. The theme was âOne Lifeâ¦A Legacy For Allâ in honor of former Manzanar Committee Chair Sue Kunitomi Embrey. Ms. Embrey was the driving force behind the preservation of Manzanar; she passed away in May 2006.
The Manzanar Committeeâs "Manzanar After Dark (MADness!)" program took place in the Interpretive Center Saturday night and featured intergenerational discussions, an open mic session, a pilgrimage retrospective video, and a film screening. Approximately 250 people attended the MAD event, more than double the number anticipated.
In addition to the Pilgrimage event, the park launched its new Junior Ranger program and hosted an art show featuring former internee and world-renowned watercolorist Henry Fukuhara. Manzanar History Association hosted a book and film signing with former internee and filmmaker Bob Nakamura and filmmaker/author Karen Ishizuka. On Sunday and Monday, Volunteer Cory Shiozaki presented walks and talks highlighting the stories of internees who ventured out of camp to fish.
The park received law enforcement support Saturday from two DEVA rangers. With the exception on a minor heat-related medical involving a 91 year old former internee, there were no incidents.