In an ongoing effort to capture the significance of individual stories of those who came through the World War II camp experience, Friends of Manzanar and the Manzanar Committee are co-sponsoring a get-together, “Speaking of Camp…,” on Saturday, Dec. 1, saluting former internees from all camps, announced Rose Ochi, event chair.

Workers construct a roof at the new Block 14 at Manzanar National Historic Site.
Lillian Kawasaki

Recognition will be accorded Lillian Kawasaki, Friends of Manzanar co-founder, former assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and past vice president of the Water Replenishment District Board of Directors.  She successfully led the campaign to build the guard tower that now stands at Manzanar National Historic Site (MNHS).

“Speaking of Camp…” will be held in the auditorium of the Maryknoll/St. Francis Xavier Japanese Catholic Center, 222 S. Hewitt St. in Little Tokyo, from 10:30 a.m.

Videographers will be on hand to record internees’ special memories of camp. Nisei and their families are also encouraged to bring photos and other memorabilia for sharing. Presented, too, will be the latest information on the 44th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage planned for next spring.

National Park Service staff will present details of Block 14, a new section currently being developed on the MNHS grounds that will include two fully developed demonstration barracks — one showing the living conditions when Japanese Americans first arrived in 1942 and the other representing how a typical barracks evolved. When completed, Block 14 will allow visitors to figuratively journey back in history to gain a sense of what it must have been like in those uncertain times. For details, visit

The event is open to the public and admission is free.  Attendees may RSVP by calling (818) 203-2779 or emailing

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