Klamath Falls, Ore. / Tulelake, Cal. – Over 400 people began arriving Friday at Oregon Tech for the 2018 Tulelake Pilgrimage.
“Many people have come several times.” Notes Tulelake Committee Board Member Satsuki Ina. “Because they have found that this is a place to feel a sense of community, and shared history about our incarceration during World War II.”
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, over 110,000 Japanese Americans were detained at 10 ‘internment camps’ across the U.S.
Many of those felt to pose the greatest risk were held at Tulelake.
Satsuki Ina was born at the Tulelake Camp, she believes the incarceration represents human rights violations that are still evident today. “What we want to do is stand up for those people that are being targeted, in ways that nobody stood up for us.”
Many of those on the Pilgrimage toured the stockade at the grounds in Tulelake on Saturday.
Jimi Yamaichi was the foreman on construction of that jail, and was a major force behind pilgrimages over the past several decades.
Yamaichi died May 12th at the age of 95.
“This is the first pilgrimage that I’ve been to where Jimi was absent.” Notes Ina. “So we’re missing him – feeling that there’s a big vacuum.”
But there’s a strong effort to preserve the grounds in Tulelake, and to hold future Pilgrimages.
“We need to pass the story on to the next generation.” Says Ina. “We have to keep this story alive so America knows this isn’t just Japanese American history, this is American history.”
The Ross Ragland Theater will host a cultural program open to the public Sunday evening at 7:30.
You’ll find more information on the Tulelake Pilgrimage at: www.tulelake.org
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.