We have our first new National Park Service site under Biden (not including him making Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante whole) and it is a much needed one, making another of the Japanese concentration camp sites part of the NPS.
President Biden signed the Amache National Historic Site Act today, designating the Amache site in Granada, Colorado as part of the National Park System. This designation, the first in the National Park System during this Administration, will permanently protect the site for future generations and will help tell the history of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.
“As a nation, we must face the wrongs of our past in order to build a more just and equitable future,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “I applaud President Biden and the bipartisan action in Congress that has ensured this important and painful chapter in our nation’s story is preserved and honored for the generations to come. After visiting Amache and meeting with survivors and descendants, I was moved by their resilience and the way in which Colorado communities came together during and after the injustice to support Japanese Americans. May we all be inspired to do the same today for all our fellow citizens.”
Amache, also known as the Granada Relocation Center, was one of 10 incarceration sites established by the War Relocation Authority during World War II to detain Japanese Americans forcibly removed from the West Coast of the United States under the terms of Executive Order 9066. More than 10,000 people were incarcerated at Amache from 1942-1945, which housed 7,310 incarcerees at its peak, two-thirds of whom were United States citizens.
This is way out in eastern Colorado, so you can combine it with a visit to Sand Creek and catch two different parts of America’s grotesquely racist history in one outing!
That this is happening during another wave of anti-Asian violence makes it all the more important, although one shouldn’t overestimate the importance of something like this to the general public memory.