Today, some friends and I went down to the north waterfront to sketch at the Japanese Historical Plaza. It is a memorial to civil rights and a reminder of a shameful time in US history when west coast Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WW II. Business owners, elderly people, families and children all had to leave their homes to live in the camps, removed from the rest of society. Some families even had servicemen who were fighting for the US, while the families were treated like criminals.
The stones have poems carved into them and there are sculptures as well. At this time of year, it is surrounded by the one hundred blooming cherry trees, their petals falling on the stones. It is a place of sadness, but also hope, that we'll never let something like that happen again.