June 30, 2022 #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

The Yo! Venice Interview: Erin Darling For City Council

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

First-place finisher & Venice local Erin Darling talks frankly with Yo! Venice about, homelessness, climate change and the upcoming runoff...

Column: Where Will We Shelter the Homeless?

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

By Jeff Hall Federal Judge David O. Carter is a hero, as far as I’m concerned.  He essentially forced the...

Column: LA Election Results Remain Tight, Close & Competitive Come the Fall Runoffs!

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

By Nick Antonicello The results for the June 7th Primary continue to trickle-in with not much change:  In that special...

Column: Centennial Park Update – Cleared, Cleaned & Fenced!

June 16, 2022

June 16, 2022

By Nick Antonicello Centennial Park, long a homeless encampment for months that had spilled out-of-control into a haven for open...

The New Math: How Does Caruso Get to Victory in a One-on-One Race With Karen Bass?

June 15, 2022

June 15, 2022

By Nick Antonicello After a $45 million investment in a race he was expected to win, Republican-turned, independent-turned Democrat Rick...

Column: The Endorsement Race!

June 13, 2022

June 13, 2022

With 40 percent of the CD-11 vote up for grabs and four months to go, Park & Darling will compete...

Column: It’s Caruso/Bass for Mayor, Darling/Park for CD-11, Rest of the Field Is Eliminated as We Brace for a November Runoff!

June 9, 2022

June 9, 2022

Villanueva/Luna locked in a tight battle for LA County sheriff! Hertzberg/Horvath headed for runoff for LA County Supervisor! Pullen-Miles leads...

The Yo! Venice Interview: Kevin McGurk for LA County Judge

June 6, 2022

June 6, 2022

By Nick Antonicello  With so much time in court litigating both criminal and civil cases, the position of public defender...

Population Loss: New Era or Pandemic Glitch?

June 3, 2022

June 3, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist The numbers suggest a major change is underway in California. It would take a Nostradamus to...

Column: Down the Stretch They Come

June 3, 2022

June 3, 2022

By Nick Antonicello  A “manufactured narrative” in this race to succeed outgoing,  “lame duck” Councilmember Mike Bonin is that certain...

Interview: LAUSD School Member Nick Melvoin. The Teacher That Puts Kids First!

June 2, 2022

June 2, 2022

By Nick Antonicello If you didn’t know any better, you would think LA school board member Nick Melvoin was twenty-points...

Keeping Kids Safe in Wake of the Tragedy of Uvalde, Texas

June 2, 2022

June 2, 2022

By Nick Antonicello In wake of the shootings that occurred in Uvalde, Texas I reached out to Allison Holdorff-Polhill, a...

Column: MAYOR ROBERT PULLEN-MILES, THE BEST CHOICE FOR VENICE REPRESENTING IN SACRAMENTO!

June 1, 2022

June 1, 2022

Lawndale Mayor uniquely qualified to succeed Autumn Burke in the California General Assembly By Nick Antonicello  On Tuesday June 7th voters...

Yo! Venice Sits Down With CD-11 Conservative Mat Smith About Homelessness, Rising Crime and the Quality-of-Life Conditions in Venice and Beyond!

June 1, 2022

June 1, 2022

By Nick Antonicello  It was only appropriate that Yo! Venice speak with CD-11 council hopeful Mat Smith over the long...

Column: “True” Democrat?

May 30, 2022

May 30, 2022

By Nick Antonicello Just what is a “true” Democrat?  It’s an interesting question in a non-partisan council contest where attorney...