A new 9-foot-tall black-granite monument will be dedicated in a ceremony in Venice tomorrow morning recognizing the 75th anniversary of the U.S.'s internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
The monument marks the spot where many Japanese-Americans were ordered to report and board buses heading for the Manzanar detention center.
The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument has been in the works for about seven years now, but inspiration for the monument extends back to the Sept 11th, terrorist attacks during which hate crimes surged against Middle Easter and Muslim residents.
The treatment Muslims and those of Middle Eastern descent drew comparisons to how Japanese-Americans were treated following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Members of the VJAMM Committee say they want to remind the public that "...what happened to persons of Japanese ancestry in 1942 should never happen again to any minority group solely based on ethnicity or religion."
Funds for the monument come from a $50,000 grant from the National Park Service, and the Japanese American Confinement Sites program. Money was also contributed by a host of politicians including current and former City Council members Bill Rosendahl and Mike Bonin; along with current and former county Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas, Zev Yaroslavsky, Sheila Kuehl and Don Knabe; as well as Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Los Angeles, and the city of Santa Monica.
The monument includes a map showing the route Japanese-Americans took to get to Manzanar along with quotes from detainees, a list of donors, and a narrative about how the people who were ordered to assembled on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevard.
`May this Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument remind us to be forever vigilant about defending our Constitutional rights. The powers of government must never again perpetrate an injustice against any group based solely on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, race or religion.''