HomeJapanese AmericanBill introduced to honor Amache internment camp

Bill introduced to honor Amache internment camp

From Wikimedia Commons by Carol M. Highsmith

Four Congressmen introduced a bipartisan bill to instate the Amache National Historic Site, which housed an internment camp for over 10,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, as a unit of the National Park System (NPS), CBS4 reports.

Supporters of the bill, known as the Amache National Historic Site Act, said that they hope its passage will help the community reckon with the camp’s history.

“The incarceration of Japanese Americans is a shameful part of America’s history and Amache is a prominent site in that dark past,” Senator Michael Bennet said. “Adding Amache to the National Park System will preserve its story, so future generations learn from our mistakes.”

“The Amache National Historic Site will honor those who suffered and help ensure history doesn’t repeat itself,” Senator John Hickenlooper added.

For Representative Joe Neguse, the importance of this bill was highlighted by the surge in anti-Asian violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The recent surge in anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination is deeply troubling,” Neguse said, according to The Colorado Sun “As we work to address it, it’s critical we remember our nation’s history, so we may honor, educate and heal. The unjustifiable internment of Japanese Americans is no doubt one of the darkest scars in our country’s history.”

Mitch Homma, a descendant of the Amache internment camp noted, that this bill was a step in the right direction, though “long overdue.”

“Three generations of my family from California were detained at the Granada Relocation Center known as Amache, but this is more than a West Coast Story,” Mitch Homma said, according to CBS4. “This is an opportunity — long overdue and relevant today — to share a time in history that has been largely forgotten and educate a wider audience. The time is right for Amache to become part of the NPS family. I thank the Members of Congress who’ve responded to our Call to Action to pass this legislation.” 

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