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With a chartered bus from L.A., Heart Mountain hopes for a big turnout for its annual pilgrimage

Low buildings on the plains of Wyoming. The photo is black and white.
Parker, Tom, Photographer (NARA record: 4682167) - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation in Northwest Wyoming is organizing a charter bus trip from Los Angeles for its annual pilgrimage July 25-27th.

Communications Director Ray Locker says while the event is open to the public, he would like to see Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the former concentration camp and their families attend.

“We hope that this will be the biggest pilgrimage we’ve had probably since the grand opening of the Heart Mountain Interpretive center in 2011,” he said.

Locker says that week, there will also be a grand opening for the Mineta Simpson Institute. It’s an archive and conference center inspired by the leadership and friendship between Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson and the late Secretary Norman Mineta who was incarcerated at Heart Mountain.

“They managed to work together on a variety of issues and work with members of other parties. They were known as kind of consensus seekers, honest brokers, who didn’t let partisan differences get in the way of finding solutions to the problems that our country faces,” he said.

Attendees will have the opportunity to tour the site, go to author talks and hear a special program about women’s incarceration experiences. Early registration for the event is now open.

Olivia Weitz is based at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. She covers Yellowstone National Park, wildlife, and arts and culture throughout the region. Olivia’s work has aired on NPR and member stations across the Mountain West. She is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound and the Transom story workshop. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, cooking, and going to festivals that celebrate folk art and music.
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