Return to Manzanar

We’ve visited Manzanar National Historic Site at least ten times over the past decade.  We sort of stumbled upon it when we first started coming here and have visited every time we’ve been back.  It’s been amazing to watch it go from just a self-guided driving tour to a place with a wonderful interpretive center, growing collection, and new exhibits.

I believe this is the only one of the ten World War II Japanese internment camps that is a full fledged historic site.   It’s something we need to know we’re capable of and guard against, especially as times get tough.

This time we found that they’ve reconstructed a bunk house and a mess hall.  That’s the exterior of the mess hall above.


These large scrims imprinted with images of actual internees in a mess hall are the perfect way to bring the scene to life.  You can kind of see through them, so they feel ghostly.

I like to check out the things that people leave at the monument in the cemetery.

One of the first times we were here, I found a peace sign made of sticks on the ground.  This wire peace sign was on the base of the monument.

The curators have the great good sense to include items and notes that people have left at the site in a display in the interpretive center.


2 thoughts on “Return to Manzanar

  1. Sandy Layne says:

    Have you ever heard the song Manzanar by Tom Russell, if not give it a listen

  2. me says:

    What a haunting place Manzanar is. The scrim in the mess hall is so effective…”ghostly” is right! Someone’s brilliant idea. It’s wonderful that this place has been cared for as it has, and that people like you appreciate it. Touching to see the mementos and messages.

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