Preserved by Students for Years, WWII Internment Camp Becomes National Park

Rocbolt; CC license

A Japanese-American interment camp from the Second World War in Colorado, preserved for years by native college students, has been folded into the care of the National Park Service.

As a brand new National Historic Site, the Amache Internment Camp is now a part of the Service’s dedication to inform the complete story of American historical past, good and dangerous.

But the actual story lies within the work of the Amache Preservation Society (APS), a gaggle of volunteer college students from the native faculty district of Granada RE1, in southeast Colorado, led for 30 years by John Hopper.

A social research trainer in 1993, Hopper, who doesn’t have Japanese ancestry, was instructing some “really bright students” who turned a one-time class undertaking talking with a survivor of the camp, whom Hopper’s household knew, into an-always operational preservation society, and centered on giving class shows, working a museum, and sustaining the positioning—a big assortment of government-issue barracks the place 1000’s of harmless Japanese Americans have been detained.

“It is a heavy, heavy topic, especially when you talk about civil liberties,” Hopper instructed Christian Science Monitor. “But that’s part of my job I enjoy talking about—needs to be talked about.”

The APS works on shows to different colleges; in recent times it additionally started organizing journeys to Japan to stick with host households and do their shows in Japanese excessive colleges.

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“I can’t think of any group that does more for Amache,” Calvin Taro Hada, an Amache descendant and Japanese neighborhood chief, instructed CS Monitor.

In 2006, Amache was designated a historic landmark, and final month, President Biden designated the camp a National Historic Site—saying the intention to switch duty and possession of the city of Granada to the National Park Service.

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Though Hopper is now Dean of Students and never within the classroom, college students from the identical faculty nonetheless run excursions of the positioning, mow the lawns, and even pursue occasional excavations underneath the supervision of the University of Denver.

“It is our solemn responsibility as caretakers of America’s national treasures to tell the whole story of our nation’s heritage for the benefit of present and future generations,” stated National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “The National Park Service will continue working closely with key stakeholders dedicated to the preservation of Amache, [including the APS…] to preserve and interpret this significant historic site to the public.”

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