After the war, Llewellyn and her mother moved to Cleveland, the Times reported. She went on to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in fine arts, married, had a son and became the dean of students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the LA Times reports.
In 2005, she revisited Manzanar and penned a commentary about her experience, sharing that she gathered sand, an old nail from the barracks and a piece of bamboo as mementos.
“As an adult, it would have been hell on Earth,” Llewellyn wrote in the commentary, published in the Pacific Citizen, per the Times. “I was lucky to have been a child — a young child at that — I didn’t know what it was like not to be incarcerated.”
“There was nothing for her to really hang her thoughts or emotions on,” Norcross said of her friend’s time revisiting the camp. “There was nothing to say ‘I was here.’”
In an interview with author and photographer Paul Kitagaki Jr. for his book Behind Barbed Wire, Llewellyn stressed the importance of voting to avoid repeating history.
“People you elect into power are the ones that are able to do things like that,” she said. “But I don’t see the numbers showing that the young people are voting, and that saddens me. That’s the only way you can control what’s going to happen.”
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