Our recap at part of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Pilgrimage 2023.
VLOG: 25th Annual National Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk at the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism
Panelists included Shirley Ann Higuchi (Chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation) and Wade Henderson (Former President and CEO of LCCNR).
“The National Japanese American Memorial is an American story about patriotism, courage, and ultimate triumph over injustice that occurred during World War II.
Surrounding the Memorial are 10 granite panels, engraved with the names of the ‘internment’ camps that imprisoned over 120,000 individuals whose only ‘crime’ was their Japanese ancestry.”
Right out front of JANM, there is an augmented reality installation by artist, Masaki Fujihata. Visitors check out an iPad and step back in time to the year 1942 where they can walk around in the recreation among Japanese Americans on the verge of leaving for the camps. This installation was inspired by the March and May 1942 photographs of Los Angeles-based incarcerees being taken to Manzanar and the Santa Anita temporary detention facility.
This is the Heart Mountain tile installation at JANM. Each tile consists of sand and dirt taken from the camp along with personal items from incarcerees. It is said that one of these items belongs to Bill Shishima, who was one of the key inspirations with the development of the Sakamoto family in Desolate Dreams:
The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Japanese Americans during World War II by honoring their heroic military service and patriotism while educating the public of their unjust incarceration and sacrifices. (source: https://www.njamemorial.org/about)