Friday, Jul 13, 2012
Over 175 people attended this year’s tenth annual Minidoka Pilgrimage, held in Boise and Twin Falls from June 21st to June 24th. Beginning in Boise at the second day of the Minidoka Civil Liberties Symposium, participants heard stories of life in the camps as told by people who were children during the three years of incarceration in the ten War Relocation Centers.
“A person can read all the books, watch all the movies, etc. if they want to know about racism, incarceration without due process, and civil liberties,” said one attendee, “but it remains in the mental arena of theory. The pilgrimage has an emotional impact that gives meaning to the statistics.”
On Saturday morning, June 23rd, the pilgrims toured Minidoka National Historic Site. Humorous and poignant stories flowed as the former internees, their families, and other participants explored the historic fire station, root cellar, and warehouse and visited the barrack building and mess hall that were returned to the site in 2011.
Interpretive wayside signs along the 1.6 mile walking trail described the historic structures and landscapes and portrayed life in the camp through historic images and quotes. The sharing of stories continued in the afternoon Legacy Session at the Red Lion Hotel.
The closing ceremony on Sunday, June 24th, included addresses by several dignitaries, the reading of the honor roll, and the placing of a memento at the site.