October 26, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

A Monumental Task

Pictured: Brian Maeda. His older brother, Arnold, will have the story of his experience at Manzanar engraved on the obelisk.

6:29am

by Melanie Camp

The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAAM) is ready to be engraved. Forever marking in stone the stories of Japanese Americans, living in the United States, forced into internment camps during World War II.

The VJAMM Committee has been working for six years, collecting letters of support, raising funds, chasing reports, and securing approvals. In August this year, the 9-foot-6-inch tall, solid granite obelisk was loaded up and shipped out of India. Destination? Arvin, California.

1-vjamm-engraving
David Williams will engrave all four sides of the 14,000-pound VJAMM

David Williams, Certified Memorialist, and owner of Williams Monument Company will engrave all four sides of the 14,000-pound VJAMM. The history of Japanese American internment, quotes from former Manzanar internees, acknowledgment of major donors, and a map from Venice to Manzanar will grace the monument.

Arnold Maeda’s experience will be one of the stories engraved on the obelisk.

Just 15-years-old Maeda, along with his parents, was asked to report to a meeting place in Venice Beach. The family lived in Santa Monica and had been told only to bring what they could carry. Bags and suitcases packed, the family joined 1000 other Japanese Americans who all lined up along the north side of Venice Boulevard. Right by the spot that is now Beach Cities Car Wash, just west of Lincoln. At the time no one knew what would happen next.

Sent to the Manzanar Relocation Center internment camp, Maeda would be 19 before he and his family would be free again, “I spent 40 months behind barbed wires,” he explained.

The Maeda’s lost everything they had worked for, their home, their gardening business, and their liberty. Their youngest son Brian (pictured above) was born in the camp.

3-vjamm-engraving
Phyllis Hayashibara and the late Bill Rosendahl stand by a replica of the monument

“The VJAMM will commemorate this history and remind us to be vigilant about our Constitutional rights, so such a forced removal and incarceration solely on the basis of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion, will never happen to any group again,” says Phyllis Hayashibara of the VJAMM Committee.

A dedication ceremony for the monument will take place April 2017, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of  The internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II.

“The VJAMM Committee has worked so hard to make the monument a reality,” said Hayashibara. Now, they are on the home stretch.

Tags: in Opinion
Related Posts

Opinion: Housing, Homelessness and the Empty Rhetoric of LA Mayoral Hopefuls Looking to Replace Eric Garcetti!

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

For who will help Venice get rid of Mike Bonin? By Nick Antonicello There is an obvious “disconnect” between this...

Opinion: How Low Can You Go?

September 20, 2021

September 20, 2021

By Nick Antonicello Instead of discussing the issues people really want to talk about like Councilman Mike Bonin’s miserable record...

Opinion: Recall Or Reelection: That’s The Choice For D-town Voters When It Comes To Incumbent Mike Bonin

September 16, 2021

September 16, 2021

By Nick Antonicello There was good news for embattled incumbent Councilman Mike Bonin yesterday in that Governor Gavin Newsom not...

Opinion: Ten Reasons Why the Venice Boardwalk Got Cleaned Up

September 15, 2021

September 15, 2021

By Nick Antonicello After years of neglect and outright incompetence when it came to the maintenance of Venice’s Oceanfront Walk...

Editorial: Unprofessionalism and Racial Insensitivity at Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

September 10, 2021

September 10, 2021

By Mirror Media Group Editorial Staff A recent incident in which an executive at Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. flippantly used the events...

Opinion: The Venice “Scooter Scourge” Worse Than Ever Before!

September 2, 2021

September 2, 2021

By Nick Antonicello One needs to be consistent in what outrages one and while many are now somewhat relieved that...

Opinion: Rampant Homelessness is at the Source of Rising Crime at Venice Beach

August 4, 2021

August 4, 2021

By Nick Antonicello There are those who condone and enable homelessness here in Venice by claiming housing is the “cure-all”...

Opinion: Why the Recall of Mike Bonin Matters

July 29, 2021

July 29, 2021

By Nick Antonicello For the first time in a long time Mike Bonin seems to be actually responding to the...

Opinion: Why Silence the Sheriff? Bonin Bashing of Villanueva Backfires at the Wrong Moment!

July 21, 2021

July 21, 2021

By Nick Antonicello Don’t like the message? Please don’t shoot the messenger! For that seems to be the case when...