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The family of a Japanese man interned during World War II have buried his remains 75 years after he went missing near a California internment camp. Giichi Matsumura was one of thousands of people of Japanese descent interned during the war. (March 15)
LORI MATSUMURA: I received a call from Sergeant Derr from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department. And it was strange because he had told me he found remains on Mount Williamson, but nothing really clicked until he said the word Manzanar. And at that point I thought of my grandfather who went missing during World War II.
My name is Lori Matsumura. I am the granddaughter of Giichi Matsumura, and they used my DNA to determine that he is my grandfather.
I went to Bishop to view his remains and to get his bones cremated to bring him home. I was struck how intact all his bones were because they laid them out as if, you know, he was lying there. And I got– I also got to see some of the items that he had with him.
When I was younger, I heard stories about their experiences in Manzanar. And I guess when you think of it as a child, you don’t really understand the scope of it. But when I visited Manzanar, then I really saw how they lived, where they slept, where they ate, and it just put things into perspective. And I think I just learned all the struggles and how much they went through just to be here in the United States.
When we heard about this news, it’s unfortunate that his children weren’t able to see all this happening and to see him being interred with his wife, and I think it just brings closure. And we always want this to be a learning experience So it doesn’t happen again.
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