A Matter of Memory: Demonstrators protest movement of Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse

Trinidad, Ca., (KIEM)- Is one memorial to those lost at sea, about to jeopardize the stability of a much older grave site? That is the question that drove protesters to the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse, where they stood for more than five hours today.

“It’s our culture,” A member of the Tsurai Ancestral Society, Sarah Lindgren-Akana explains. “To protect our village.” The Tsurai village is located on the bluff where the lighthouse is supposed to be moved, about 20 ft east of it’s current location.

“Moving the lighthouse to this location is going to further destabilize the bluff, which is going to impact our graves.” Lindgren-Akana says. Other protesters said they want to be clear, they’re not asking for the lighthouse to be torn down or its preservation thrown aside. They simply want a permanent location for the structure, that won’t prioritize the memory of one culture’s lost loved ones over another.

As for the Trinidad Civic Club that has championed the relocation of the maritime icon, they say, “There is room enough in Trinidad and room enough on the bluff for the the Tsurai village and the lighthouse.”

Still, the prospect of disruption of the historic and cultural site will bring protesters back tomorrow to fight for awareness and a change in plans.