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Senate Passes Bill to Make Internment Camp a National Historic Site

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

Amache was located in Granada and imprisoned over 10,000 Japanese Americans.

The bill, H.R. 2497, would establish the Amache National Historic Site as part of the National Park System, KDVR reports. It was introduced by Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet (D) and John Hickenlooper (D).

“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, according to The Hill.

The timing of the legislation is significant. February 19 will mark the 80th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which put in motion the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII.

Japanese American Citizens League Executive Director David Inoue praised the passage of the bill.

“This is an important action by our nation in acknowledging the injustice that was inflicted upon the Japanese American community by our government,” Inoue said in a statement. “This will be an opportunity to share not only the injustice of what happened to those incarcerated at Amache, but also puts their story in the context of Colorado’s history and the bravery of Governor Ralph Carr, who was the rare politician who stood up for the rights of Japanese Americans and opposed the incarceration. His steadfast values cost him his political career.”

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