VVF Slams Sen. Mike Lee for Blocking Bill to Add Amache National Historic Site to the National Park System
Statement from Janessa Goldbeck, CEO, Vet Voice Foundation:
“It is deeply disappointing that Sen. Mike Lee cares so little about our nation’s history that he would singlehandedly block legislation that would make Amache National Historic Site part of the National Park System.
“Make no mistake, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two is a shameful part of American history, and the story of Amache is a critical part of the story of that dark past. Adding Amache to the National Park System would ensure that its legacy is preserved so future generations can learn from our mistakes, and the landmark can honor the lives of those who were imprisoned and forced to suffer there.
“Senator Bennet understands the importance of protecting the legacy of Amache, and we celebrate his effort to add the Amache historic site to the National Park Service.”
Amache was one of ten Japanese American incarceration facilities across the country. During World War II, nearly 10,000 Japanese Americans passed through Amache and over 7,000 lived there between 1942 and 1945. According to the National Park Service, “the cemetery, a reservoir, a water well and tank, the road network, concrete foundations, watch towers, the military police compound, and trees planted by the internees still remain.” Amache is currently a National Historic Landmark maintained by the Amache Preservation Society, established by John Hopper, a social studies teacher who is currently the principal of Granada High School, and powered by student volunteers from the high school.
VV Foundation recognizes that even amid this tragedy, many people imprisoned at Amache volunteered to serve in the military throughout the war – nearly 10% of the people at the Amache site – the highest percentage of military volunteers of all of the incarceration camps.
In April 2021, Senator’s Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper introduced legislation to establish the Amache National Historic Site, a former Japanese American incarceration facility outside of Granada, Colorado as part of the National Park System.