Manzanar Center Opens April 24th, 2004

More than 1,200 attended the opening of the historic interpretive center at the Manzanar National Historic Site. The dedication of the $5.1 million center was held in conjunction with the 35th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage.

Fran Maniella, director of the National Park Service, few from Washington to attend the event. Maniella said that the National Park Service was entrusted the duty of caring for Manzanar by the former internees and their descendants. “If telling the story were enough, place would not matter. But the true appreciation of the meaning of Manzanar needs to be felt at Manzanar.”

Sue Embrey, chair of the Manzanar Committee, received a standing ovation when she addressed the audience. “People ask me why is it important to remember and keep memories alive with this interpretive center. My answer is stories like this need to be told and too many of us have passed away already without telling our story. The interpretive center is important because it needs to shout to the world that America is as strong as it makes amends for the wrongs it has committed and that we always remember Manzanar because of that.”