WASHINGTON (KDVR) — The Colorado site where the U.S. imprisoned Japanese Americans during World War II is one step closer to becoming a National Historic Site.
The Amache National Historic Site Act passed the U.S. House on Thursday in a 416-2 vote, according to the National Parks Conservation Association. U.S. Reps. Joe Neguse and Ken Buck introduced the bipartisan bill in April.
The bill is now headed to the U.S. Senate.
“Today’s passage of the Amache National Historic Site Act in the U.S. House of Representatives brings me hope, and I thank Congressman Neguse for his leadership,” Bob Fuchigami, an Amache survivor, said in the release. “I now urge the Senate to pass this bill. The time is not only right; it is long overdue.”
Around 120,000 Japanese people and descendants were forced into U.S. prison camps during World War II. More than 7,500 of them — two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens — were prisoners at the Amache camp in Colorado, also known as the Granada Relocation Center, according to the National Park Service.
“Like many in the Japanese American community, my family did not talk about incarceration, and I didn’t even know Amache was part of my family’s history until after my grandparents passed and it was too late to ask,” Amache descendant Kirsten Leong said. “Passing the Amache National Historic Site Act will encourage thoughtful dialogue about the widespread intergenerational effects of incarceration that continue to shape the Japanese American experience to this day.”