Politics

Senate passes bill to make former Japanese internment camp a historic site

The Senate on Monday passed a bill to make a former Japanese American internment camp in Colorado a national historic site. 

The bill would establish the Amache National Historic Site, a former Japanese American incarceration facility located outside Granada, in southeast Colorado, as part of the national park system. The legislation last year passed the House and was shepherded by Colorado Reps. Joe Neguse (D) and Ken Buck (R).

Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet (D) and John Hickenlooper (D) celebrated the bill’s passage of the Senate.

“The incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II at sites like Amache is a shameful part of our country’s history. Our bill will preserve Amache’s story to ensure future generations can learn from this dark chapter in our history,” Bennet said.

The legislation was introduced by Colorado Democratic Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet last year. U.S. Reps. Ken Buck, R-Colo., and Joe Neguse, D-Colo., introduced a companion bill to the House, which also passed 416-2 in July

“Interning Japanese-Americans at Camp Amache is a dark stain on our past,” Hickenlooper said in a statement, celebrating the Senate’s passage of the bill. “Elevating Amache to a National Historic Site will preserve the survivors’ stories and ensure that history never repeats.”

Amache, which is less than one square mile, was one of 10 Japanese American internment facilities in California, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Arkansas and Colorado following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. 

“The attack on Pearl Harbor also launched a rash of fear about national security, especially on the West Coast. In February 1942, just two months later, President Roosevelt, as commander-in-chief, issued Executive Order 9066 that resulted in the internment of Japanese Americans,” the National Archives states online

The bill’s passage comes just before the 80th anniversary of the executive order that led to the forced internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans on Feb. 19, 1942.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CPR.ORG

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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