The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation will hold a Saturday service to celebrate the life of curator emeritus LaDonna Zall, who died last month. The service begins at 10 a.m. at Heart Mountain …
The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation will hold a Saturday service to celebrate the life of curator emeritus LaDonna Zall, who died last month. The service begins at 10 a.m. at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. The local community is invited to attend the event, which is a part of the annual Heart Mountain Pilgrimage.
As a young girl, Zall witnessed the last train leave Heart Mountain in 1945, carrying Japanese Americans who had been held at the camp back to the West Coast. The experience remained with Zall for the rest of her life. Shortly after the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation was established in 1996, Zall joined the effort to preserve the site of the former camp and tell the stories of those incarcerated there. Zall played a key role in organizing and documenting the foundation’s artifact collections, and led some of the first tours of the Heart Mountain site. Zall passed away on June 22 at the age of 87.
At Saturday’s service, speakers Joyce Harkness, Sam Mihara and Douglas Nelson will reflect on Zall’s life and achievements. The service will conclude with the presentation of the LaDonna Zall Compassionate Witness Award. The honor recognizes individuals whose families were not incarcerated during World War II, but who nonetheless have worked to expand awareness of the Japanese American incarceration. Cody native Pete Simpson will receive the award this year.
Simpson, a member of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation board of directors, also experienced the camp firsthand, when he visited it as a Boy Scout in the 1940s.
“This is one of the greatest honors of my life,” Simpson said. “I prize my association with LaDonna and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation board. My visits to the camp were a time in my young life when I learned something about ambiguity and honor.”
The center is located between Cody and Powell on Highway 14A. For more information about the event, call 307-754-8000 or visit www.heartmountain.org.