A planned memorial marker identifying the Venice site from where local Japanese-Americans were sent to internment camps during World War II has received a letter of support and $5,000 donation from Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
A 9-foot-6-inch-tall obelisk is slated for installation at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln boulevards to mark the location where more than 1,000 Japanese-American men, women and children living on the Westside of Los Angeles boarded buses to be transported to the Manzanar internment camp, beginning on April 25, 1942.
The project, led by the Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker Committee, has also received the support of Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose office has contributed $5,000, as well as former state Assemblywoman Betsy Butler and state Sen. Ted Lieu.
“The internment of Japanese-Americans is a sad and shameful chapter in recent American history, but it is a story that remained hidden far too long,” Yaroslavsky’s letter states. “It deserves to be told, examined, analyzed, and confronted. In the name of wartime security, the constitutional rights of thousands of loyal American citizens were egregiously violated, and we must be ever mindful that such a breach never be allowed to recur.”
The memorial committee thanked Yaroslavsky for his contribution in a letter of appreciation as well as the Board of Supervisors for its June 2012 revocation and repudiation of the 1942 board’s resolution in support of Executive Order 9066. The executive order by President Franklin Roosevelt required thousands of West Coast residents of Japanese ancestry to be sent to war relocation camps following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Venice memorial marker will permanently acknowledge Yaroslavsky, as well as the names of other donors of $5,000 or more, including Rosendahl.
The National Parks Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program of the U. S. Department of the Interior has additionally awarded the memorial committee a two to one matching grant of $50,000.