Redlands Sister Cities plans trip to historic internment camp
(InlandEmpire.US, Redlands) – The Redlands Police Department and the Redlands Sister Cities Association is planning a trip to Manzanar, the historic site in California’s Owens Valley where thousands of American citizens of Japanese descent were interned during World War II.
The Redlands Sister Cities Association is a nonprofit volunteer organization that supports partnerships between the City of Redlands and international communities. Their purpose is to promote cultural awareness and understanding within the community.
Founded in 1962, Redlands Sister Cities established it’s first Sister City with Hino, Japan, a year later. Additional Sister Cities are San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Linli, China.
The Manzanar trip, scheduled for early May, is meant to support the goals of cultural awareness and collaboration with other community groups.
In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center, located in the Owens Valley at the base of the Sierra Nevadas, was one of 10 camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II.
“Over the past weeks Redlands has celebrated the life of one of the great American advocates for human rights, Abraham Lincoln,” said Police Chief Jim Bueermann. “As we continue to remember the impact this great man had on our country, it is appropriate that we offer this opportunity to our community to see Manzanar. This trip will help us remember that, just as Lincoln led the fight to end slavery, we must all strive to protect the inalienable rights we enjoy. This is what we, as police officers, swear to do everyday when we take our oath of office.
“We must not forget that, in the U.S., we have erred, and punished some Americans simply because of the color of their skin or ancestry. Manzanar provides a poignant reminder of what happens when we forget the historical lessons we should have learned as a nation. Never again should we incarcerate our people solely because of who they are. I am glad the Sister Cities Association is partnering with the Police Department to offer this great opportunity to visit such a historical site.”
Goals of the Redlands Sister Cities are to:
- Provide opportunities for the citizens of Redlands to experience and explore other cultures through reciprocal cultural, educational, and professional exchanges.
- Bring the diverse community of Redlands together through activities and programs.
- Collaborate with other community groups to support cultural awareness in the City of Redlands.
- Promote economic ties between Redlands and its Sister Cities.
Recent Sister Cities exchange trips have included the Spring 2010 biannual high school exchange and a Fall 2009 professional exchange when four Redlands Police officers visited Hino.
Local Sister Cities projects include installation of a Japanese Peace Garden in Smiley Park at the site of the existing Peace Pole next to the old City Hall building; and assistance with the Riverside Museum’s Paper Cranes for Peace Project. http://www.riversideca.gov/museum/exhibit-22.asp.
Those interested in attending the Manzanar trip can contact Anna Robles at the Redlands Sister Cities Association by email at firstname.lastname@example.org