DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED ON THE CORNER OF LINCOLN AND VENICE BOULEVARDS IN APRIL OF 1942?
The Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker “VJAMM” Committee, an ad hoc group comprised of former internees, and concerned citizens whose goal is to erect a memorial for the purpose of honoring Venice-area Americans of Japanese descent who were ordered, per the US Government’s “Civil Exclusion Orders,” to abandon their homes, business and possessions and then, although having committed no crime, were imprisoned.
The proposed site for this memorial, 933 ½ Venice Boulevard, is the address of the former “Civil Control Station” where, in April of 1942, local residents reported and then boarded buses to the Manzanar War Relocation Authority Camp (map) where they would spend the next three years of their lives.
While most Venice residents remain unaware of the role this heavily traveled intersection played in the lives of many of their former and current neighbors, the spot is one that continues to affect the lives of those ordered there almost seventy years ago, including Arnold Maeda of Santa Monica:
"I have such a personal connection to this corner, and I always point out this location to any of my passengers as we drive by. I always have had a very visceral, emotional response to even thinking about my incarceration. But with discussion of this marker, my negative feelings have somehow dissipated and have been replaced with feelings of hope."
The VJAMM has already received the support of District 11 Councilman Bill Rosendahl who filed a motion before the Los Angeles City Council that the Bureau of Street Services, Planning Department and Department of Transportation “be directed to report with recommendations for the installation of a commemorative marker at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards to commemorate the start of the internment of hundreds of Japanese and Japanese Americans living in the Venice community.
Other supporters include:
Beyond Baroque, Free Venice Beachhead, Nikkei Student Union at UCLA, Japanese American Citizens League (Culver-Venice Chapter), Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), Venice Arts Council, Venice Community Housing Corporation, Venice High School Alumni Association, Venice High School New Media Academy students, Venice Historical Society, Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Venice Japanese Community Center, Venice Neighborhood Council, Venice Peace and Freedom Party, Venice Town Council, Nikkei Student Union at UCLA