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Venice High Students Push For Memorial For Japanese

The Beachhead, and the Venice Arts Council, have been advocating a memorial marker or other remembrance at the corner of Venice Blvd. and Lincoln Blvd. where local Japanese families were gathered together and shipped to concentration camps in 1942. Many were U.S. citizens and many were small children. None had been accused of any disloyalty during World War II. Their only crime was that they were of Japanese ancestry.  Now, at long last, some recognition of the terrible wrong that was done to our neighbors may be forthcoming.  Below are some of the letters that Venice students have written to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl and to the Beachhead. If all goes right, a ever-present reminder that human dignity and civil rights need constant vigilance if we are to have the right to call ourselves a civilized country and city.  In particular, the Beachhead would like to thank Phyllis Hayashibara, a teacher at Venice High for getting the ball rolling.

You can express your support by emailing Bill Rosendahl at councilman.rosendahl@lacity.org and the Beachhead at Beachhead@freevenice.org and the Venice Arts Council.

My name is Athena, and I am a Junior
enrolled in Ms. Hayashibara’s Honors U.S.
History class at Venice High School. Please give
your support towards the building of a monument
in the Venice community.
In April of 1942, hundreds of Venetians of
Japanese ancestry were assembled at the northwest
corner of Lincoln and Venice Boulevards.
From this historic intersection, Japanese
Americans were bused to assembly centers and
then internment camps all over the U.S. Under
the Executive Order 9066, military officials were
given the power to limit the civil rights of
Japanese Americans. Because of this order,
Japanese Americans had curfews and were even
forced to leave their homes and be shipped to
internment camps without any due process. The
Venice community would like to commemorate
the Japanese Americans who lost their homes
and their rights. Please support the building of
a memorial for the victims of Executive Order
9066.
Sincerely,
Athena Padilla
–––––
I’m proud to say I support the actions
needed to erect a monument, or sculpture on
the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln
Boulevards to commemorate the relocation of
thousands of Japanese Americans, definitely an
enormous decision in U.S. history.
This monument will clearly show the people
of Venice, and every citizen who passes at
this monument, how easy it is to loose our precious
democratic rights. Besides, the monument’s
symbolic meaning, it marks the historical
setting where Japanese Americans gathered, to
be relocated. My name is Scott Pine, and I’m a
junior at Venice High School in Ms.
Hayashibara’s Honors U.S. History class.
I found out about this tremendous idea in
an article in the Free Venice Beachhead. I believe
the best way to reach out to individuals about
the building of this structure is to spread awareness
about this preposterous and shameful, yet
important event in Venice History. I hope the
purpose and meaning behind a monument is
enough to the city of Venice and its citizens to
allow it to be erected.
Sincerely, Scott Pine
_____
Hello, my name is Edwin Santiago and I
am a student at Venice High School. I am currently
in Ms. Hayashibara’s class and I have
heard about the commemorative marker the
Venice Beachhead, the free newspaper, wants to
put on the corner of Venice and Lincoln
Boulevard. This is a tremendous action of all
who are involved, and I applaud this. I have
learned about the Japanese American
Internment Camps at Venice High School.
The relocation of 120,000 Japanese
Americans in 1942 was a violation of habeas
corpus, due process, and constitutional rights.
Even though it was deemed a “military necessity,”
it was not right to relocate them. I also
know that if people of Japanese ancestry refused
to be relocated to the camp, they would be
imprisoned and/or fined. The area of containment
included Washington, Oregon and
California.
Please support a memorial in recognition
of the thousands of Japanese Americans will
allow me to never forget about the past wrongdoings
of the United States.
Sincerely, Edwin Santiago
______
Hello, my name is Tara Gruchalski, and I
attend Venice High School. I would like you to
support a commemorate marker or monument
on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln
Blvd. It would be a marker to remember the
Japanese Americans who were sent to internment
camps because of Japan’s attack on Pearl
Harbor in 1941. President Roosevelt issued
Executive Order 9066, and the locals of Japanese
descent assembled on Venice and Lincoln to get
on buses to their next destination, an assembly
center at fair grounds or race tracks.
Removing the Japanese Americans from
their homes without due process was unconstitutional,
and should be remembered so it will
not occur once again. The Venice Beachhead has
begun a campaign to support a commemorative
marker. Having the marker on the corner of
Venice and Lincoln Blvd will bring awareness to
the locals the history of the Japanese American
internment during World War II.
Sincerely, Tara Gruchalski
–––––
My name is Mallory Roque, and I am a
junior attending Venice Senior High School. I
am also a proud member of the New Media
Academy, a program that teaches students
about filmmaking, web designing, animation,
and photography. I am writing to help in the
commemoration of the Japanese American experience
during World War II.
The Free Venice Beachhead and I believe
that there should be a monument on the northwest
corner of Venice and Lincoln Blvd, where
people of Japanese ancestry were forced to gather
so they could be put on buses. This marker
would remind others how easy it is to lose our
democratic rights.
The relocation and internment of 120,000
Japanese American clearly violated their constitutional
rights. President Reagan signed the
Civil Liberties Act of 1988, apologizing for the
internment and paid $20,000 to each surviving
internee. Although President Reagan did pay
$20,000, the money will not make up for all the
time lost in the camps. A monument should be
that reminder of the Japanese Americans went
through, and it should not happen again..
Sincerely, Mallory Roque
_____
Hello, my name is Ashley Roque. I am seventeen
years old, and I attend Venice HIgh
School. I am also a part of the New Media
Academy at Venice High School. I would like
you to support a memorial marker or sculpture
at the Northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln
Blvd. I believe that this marker would help people
remember the roundup of the Japanese
Americans, which took place at that corner on
April 25, 1942. This monument would also
spread awareness of the constitutional rights
that were denied to the Japanese Americans that
were relocated. This kind of event should never
happen again, and I believe that this monumental
marker would help be a reminder, so it won’t
happen again to another minority group. I think
this commemorative maker, and whoever supports
it, is doing a civic duty to the community.
This monument will show the United States’
apology to all the Japanese Americans that
experienced this unconstitutional event. I would
like your support in the construction of this
monument. Thank you.
Sincerely, Ashley Roque
______
My name is Alonso Ordaz and I attend
Venice High school.Recently in my honors U.S.
History class we were studying the Japanese
American relocation internment during World
War 2. Executive order 9066 enabled the relocation
and internment of 120,000 Japanese”Aliens
and non Aliens” from Washington, Oregon, and
California. These actions must be understood in
terms of the violation of their constitutional
rights and suspension of writ of habeas corpus
and due process. On April 25, 1942 hundreds of
Venetians of Japanese ancestry were forced to
assemble at the corner of Venice and Lincoln
Blvds, where they were put on buses and taken
to camps in the interior of the U.S. I would like
you to support the building of a memorial or a
monument on the Northwest corner of Venice
and Lincoln Blvds.This would commemorate
the Japanese Americans gathering at that corner
on April 25,1942 and remind us how easy it is to
lose our constitutional rights in the face of
Social prejudice.
Sincerely, Alonso Ordaz
–––––
My name is Jimmy, and I am a junior at
Venice High School in the New Media Academy,
in Ms.Hayashibara’s Honors U.S. History class.
I am writing you this letter to gain your support
towards a monument on the northeast corner of
Lincoln and Venice blvd.
Under Executive Order 90066, Venetians of
Japanese ancestry were forced to line up at the
intersection of Venice and Lincoln blvds on
April 24, 1942. They were then shipped to
internment camps throughout the U.S. Japanese
Americans had curfews and were forced to
leave behind their homes and some of their possessions
to go start a new life in an internment
camp. Many had nowhere to go once released
from the camps, and had to start totally new
lives. Japanese Americans were stripped of their
constitutional rights and deserve some sort of
monument for their struggle. Please support the
building of a memorial for the victims of the
Japanese American internment.
Sincerely, Jimmy Solis
–––––
I’m Ulysses from Venice High. I’m part of
Ms. Hayashibara’s New Media Academy
(NMA) Honors U.S History Class. The NMA
teaches us how to use video cameras and computer
programs. I’ve been informed that we
might get to visit City Council. If we do, maybe
we can record our visit and give you a copy.
I understand that on April 25,1942
Venetians of Japanese ancestry were forced to
gather at Lincoln and Venice, to leave the area
and were put in interment camps. Then in 1944
Gordon Hirabayashi stood up on behalf of
every one against the curfew and the isolation
of the Japanese Americans. Now Venice Beach
head is trying to gather support for a monument
in commemoration of this tragedy. Please
consider lending your support to this commemorative
marker in Venice.
Sincerely, Ulysses Fletes
_____
My name is Ivan Peña-Lelesque. I am sixteen
years old, and I am a junior at Venice High
School. In my U.S. History class, we started
learning about the Japanese American
Internment Camps, and I found out that many
Japanese assembled at Venice and Lincoln Blvds
in 1942, and were put on buses and taken to
assembly centers and War Relocation camps in
violation of their civil rights.
I think it will be a great idea to do something
to commemorate this event, such as erecting
a sculpture or a monument so people who
do not know about this event, will get a chance
to learn about it. I realized many of these
Japanese people lost all their belongings, and
their descendants will be please to see a commemoration
to their ancestors. There are very
few monuments throughout the whole united
states about Japanese American Internment, and
this would be a great local place to build a monument.
My dad,mom, and sister are all supporting
this idea. I thank you for reading this letter,
and I really hope this idea will become a reality
to everybody.
Sincerely, Ivan Peña-Lelesque
–––––
I am Rodrigo Garcia, and I am currently a
junior at Venice high School. Recently, my U.S.
History class has been discussing the Japanese
American relocation and internment. I learned
that executive order 90066 violated the rights of
the Japanese Americans in 1942. Americans of
Japanese ancestry had to be gathered up and
sent to War Relocation Authority Camps under
armed guard. One of the locations where the
Japanese Americans gathered happens to be the
northwest corner at Lincoln and Venice Blvds.
I hope that you, Mr. Rosendahl, will support
a proposal to build a marker at this location
in order to commemorate this event.
Personally, I strongly support this proposal
because it is an important issue regarding civil
liberties and a lesson on how easily rights can
be denied. I want to thank you for bringing the
issue up at the City Council because this helps
inform all types of people of what is going on in
this city.
Sincerely, Rodrigo Garcia
–––––
My name is David Del Valle, and I am a
student from Venice High School in Mrs.
Hayashibara’s Honors U.S History class. We are
studying World War II and the Japanese
American internment. I write this e-mail to support
the act of putting a marker on the corner of
Lincoln and Venice to remember the Japanese
American who were interned after Japan’s
attack on Pearl Harbor. That was the corner that
the Japanese Americans stood on before they
boarded the buses that took them to the assembly
centers and war Relocated Authority camps.
The marker would help people know what
had happened there and even bring back memories.
It also reminds us that powerless citizens
have suffered and have their rights stripped
away by the government. That marker would be
another way we could say you matter, and we
are sorry. This marker would be educational
because it would teach tourists and other people
who pass by. I hope that you would take into
consideration this marker.
Sincerely, David Del Valle
_____
Hello, my name is Daniel Lopez, and I
attend Venice High School. I would like to ask
you if you can help put up a marker on Lincoln
Venice High Students Push For Memorial For Japanese
and Venice Blvd. On December 7, 1941, the U.S
was attacked by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor.
Many lives were lost, and as a result the U.S
Government launched an order called Executive
Order 9066. This order forced 120,000 Japanese-
American citizens on the West coast into internment
camps.
In the Venice area many Japanese-
Americans had to line up on the Lincoln and
Venice Boulevards then were driven off to an
assembly center, then a war relocation camp. I
think it would be a really good idea to commemorate
such an event that happened here in
Venice with a statue or marker of some sort.
Thank you for reading this and hopefully this
and other letters will help us remember this
event in history.
Sincerely, Daniel Lopez
_____
My name is Felix Barron, and I am in Ms.
Hayashibara’s U.S. History class at Venice High
School. I am sending you this email on behalf of
a possible monument at the northwest corner of
Venice and Lincoln Blvds to remember the
Japanese-American Internment. I think that putting
a marker or monument here in Venice
would be a great idea because the Japanese-
American Internment was such an important
part of our nation’s history. On April 25, 1942,
all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Venice
area were forced to report to Venice and Lincoln
to be put on buses and taken to camps.
In these concentration camps, Japanese-
Americans were mistreated by guards, given
very little food, and given no rights due to
Executive Order 9066 signed by Franklin D.
Roosevelt. It wasn’t until 1976 that E.O. 9066
was appealed. In 1988, President Reagan signed
legislation that apologized for the internment
and appropriated over one billion dollars in
reparations to surviving internees. After this,
however, the history of the Japanese-American
Internment slowly began to fade, which is why
we need the monument here in Venice. Only
with this monument can the legacy of the
Japanese-American Internment be remembered,
so please support putting up a monument here
in Venice so that we won’t make the same mistakes
again.
Sincerely, Felix Barron
_____
My name is William J. Quinteros, I am in
the 11th grade, and I am a student at Venice
High School. Right now, I am taking U.S.
History, and my teacher is Ms. Hayashibara.
Recently, I learned about World War II and what
happened after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The U.S. government decided to take the
Japanese-American people living on the west
coast to concentration camps. I also learned that
Japanese-American people in Venice had to
gather at the corner of Venice and Lincoln on
April 12, 1942, before being taken to concentration
camps.
I know that the U.S. government later
apologized for this act, but I know that this incident
must not be forgotten. I support the making
of a monument at the intersection of Venice
and Lincoln to remember this sad, but important
incident. I just want to thank you for reading
this, and I hope you will think about it.
Sincerely, William J. Quinteros
_____
My name is Juan Perez, and I am a Junior
at Venice High School. This past month I heard
about the monument that is being proposed for
the Northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln
Blvd. I am writing this letter to show my support
for such a marker, and hope you will support
it too. Over 120,000 Japanese Americans
were evacuated from California, Oregon and
Washington, some at the corner of Venice and
Lincoln and relocated to the interior of the
United States.
I don’t want to forget about the relocated
Japanese Americans, and I don’t want other
people to forget either. People should remember
this event so we do not make the same mistake
again with another ethnic or religious group of
people. If this monument is put up, the children
and grandchildren of the Japanese Americans
who were sent to this camp will have something
to remember their ancestors. Once again I
would like to state that I support the monument
being built.
Sincerely, Juan Perez
_____

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