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Posted on: March 1, 2017

City Council Helps Fund Monument for Japanese-Americans Held in Internment Camps

Site of memorial in 1942
At its meeting on February 27, the Malibu City Council approved the award of a $5,000 grant to help fund the Venice Japanese-American Memorial Monument.

The monument, which will be installed at the corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards, will honor the approximately 1,000 residents of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly taken from their homes in Malibu, Venice, and Santa Monica to the remote desert Manzanar War Relocation Center in April 1942. There they were held prisoner and their property and homes seized for the duration of World War II.

“Nothing can ever undo the injustice inflicted upon these innocent members of our community who were torn from their homes and communities and robbed of their jobs, possessions, and liberty,” said Mayor Lou La Monte. “But thanks to the efforts of the Committee, this beautiful and moving monument can help ensure that we never forget and never repeat such appalling acts.”

On February 13, 2017, a representative from the Venice Japanese-American Memorial Monument Committee presented the Monument plan to the City Council, requesting the City’s support for the Monument. The 9.5-foot tall black granite obelisk will be located at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards in Venice, the same location from where 1,000 local residents of Japanese ancestry were taken by bus 220 miles away to be imprisoned at Manzanar in April 1942.

Manzanar was one of 10 concentration camps established by the U.S. government. Up to 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast, were held prisoner at the camps. Sixty-two percent of the internees were United States citizens. With Executive Order 9066, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the action shortly after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, under the pretense that people of Japanese ancestry living in the U.S. were a threat to national security because they could be collaborating with the enemy during World War II.

Other agencies that have contributed funds toward the Monument include the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and the National Park Service, as well as numerous community-based organizations, businesses, houses of worship, and individual donors.

The Committee plans a public dedication ceremony for the monument on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 10:00 AM at the corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards in Venice. 
Visit the Monument website for more information
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