Colorado Is Now Home to America’s Newest National Park

Amache was one of 10 incarceration sites used to detain thousands of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Colorado Is Now Home to America’s Newest National Park
The sun sets behind a replica of the old guard tower at The Amache National Historic Site on Nov. 14, 2022, in Granada, Colorado. (Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post/TNS)
Tribune News Service
By Lauren Penington From The Denver Post

Amache National Historic Site in southeastern Colorado is officially America’s newest national park, the National Park Service announced Thursday.

Amache, located one mile outside of Granada, was one of 10 incarceration sites used to detain thousands of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The town of Granada acquired and donated the land needed to establish the site as a national park.

“Amache’s addition to the National Park System is a reminder that a complete account of the nation’s history must include our dark chapters of injustice,” National Park Service Director Chuck Sams stated in a Thursday news release. “To heal and grow as a nation we need to reflect on past mistakes, make amends, and strive to form a more perfect union.”

Nearly two years ago in March 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law a bill backed by Colorado lawmakers to designate the camp a National Historic Site.

The goal then was to make Amache, also known as the Granada Relocation Center, eligible for increased funding to protect and preserve the historical site.

Before becoming a National Historic Site, Amache was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on May 18, 1994, and designated a National Historic Landmark on February 10, 2006.

“As a nation, we must face the wrongs of our past in order to build a more just and equitable future,” Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland stated in Thursday’s news release. “Today’s establishment of the Amache National Historic Site will help preserve and honor this important and painful chapter in our nation’s story for future generations.”

More than 10,000 people were incarcerated at Amache between 1942 and 1945, according to the release. Now, Amache joins six other national parks already established to preserve this chapter of American history.

Although the camp itself is in ruins, Amache’s historic building foundations and road alignments are largely intact, preserved through the years by Amache survivors and their descendants, residents of Granada, the Amache Preservation Society and more.

The site consists of a historic cemetery, a monument, concrete building foundations, a road network and several reconstructed and restored structures from the World War II era including a barrack, recreation hall, guard tower and water tank.

Amache’s official redesignation announcement came just four days before the Day of Remembrance of Japanese-American Incarceration during World War II, recognized each year on February 19.

Copyright 2024 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Dear Readers: We would love to hear from you. What topics would you like to read about? Please send your feedback and tips to [email protected].
Related Topics