HomeJapanese AmericanCamp Amache in Colorado now officially an historic site

Camp Amache in Colorado now officially an historic site

The town of Grenada in Colorado boasts a population of just over 400 people, but during World War II, it became the prison for 8,000 Japanese Americans forcibly removed from the West Coast.

This weekend, National Park Officials held a formal ribbon cutting to officially open the area as a national historic site.

Among those there for the ceremony were descendants of those imprisoned at Camp Amache. The ribbon cutting culminated years of efforts to officially designate the site for historic recognition.

“After the war, there were so many opportunities for all the physical evidence and memories to be erased,” said one descendant, reported News9. “Yet Amache survived.”

Camp Amache is about a 3 hour drive from Denver. The federal government officially abandoned it after WWII, reports the BBC.

All that is left are a few barracks, a water tower and also a guard station that overlooked the prison.

“It might seem like there’s not much out there,” said Dr Bonnie J Clark, an archaeology professor at the University of Denver who co-directs the Amache Project dedicated to preserving the site. “But the more time you spend, it’s just a really powerful and evocative place.” 

The dedication coincided with an annual pilgrimage to the site. The descendants were joined by those with ties to the people killed in the Sand Creek Massacre.

Up to 600 Native Americans were killed by armed forced from the Third Colorado Calvary during the American Indian War in 1864. The two groups hoped to have the opportunity to heal together.

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