President Biden signs bill designating former Japanese incarceration camp in Colorado as historic site

amache
Amache. Image: CBS Denver
  • President Biden signed a bill on Friday designating a former World War II Japanese incarceration camp as a national historic site in Colorado.
  • From 1942 to 1945, more than 10,000 people, most of whom were Japanese Americans, were kept in the incarceration camp known as “Camp Amache.”
  • Amache is managed by the nonprofit Amache Preservation Society and owned by the town of Granada.
  • The site includes a cemetery, monument, rebuilt structures and landscaping.

A former World War II Japanese incarceration camp in Colorado has been designated a historic site in a bill signed by President Biden on Friday.

The Amache National Historic Site Act helps “to preserve, protect, and interpret… resources associated with the incarceration of civilians of Japanese ancestry during World War II at Amache.” 

Amache was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 18, 1994 and became designated as a National Historic Landmark on Feb. 10, 2006.  

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The site is owned by the town of Granada and is currently managed by the Amache Preservation Society. Today, Camp Amache includes a cemetery, reconstructed remnants of old structures, landscaping and a memorial.  

From 1942 to 1945, around 120,000 Japanese Americans were removed from their homes by executive order and put into 10 camps throughout California, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah, Arkansas and Colorado.

Over 10,000 were incarcerated at the Granada Relocation Center in Colorado, commonly known as “Camp Amache,” which, at its peak, held more than 7,300 people, two-thirds of whom were American citizens.

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“This moment is a testament to the Amache survivors, descendants, and advocates who never stopped pushing to get this done,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) said in a statement to KKTV. “Thanks to their work, future generations will now have the opportunity to learn about what happened at Amache and the Americans who were interned there. We have a responsibility to carry their legacy forward, and now Amache has the recognition and resources it deserves.”

The National Park Service said in a press release statement that they would continue to work closely with the town of Granada and stakeholders to preserve the historic site. 

“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,” said the National Park Service director, Chuck Sams. “The National Park Service will continue working closely with key stakeholders dedicated to the preservation of Amache, and those directly impacted by the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, to preserve and interpret this significant historic site to the public.”

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