DENVER (KDVR) – U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet took steps on Thursday toward acquiring the funding needed to maintain and operate a recently designated national historic site here in Colorado that was formerly a Japanese American incarceration facility during World War II.
The Amache National Historic Site in Granada was officially put into the National Park System back on March 18, when President Joe Biden signed the reclassification into law.
Executive Order 9066, which was signed just over 80 years ago, launched the forced internment of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans at sites across the country. This included the Amache site.
“Robust funding for the Amache National Historic Site in its inaugural year will ensure future generations 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,” Bennet wrote in his request.
On Thursday, the proposal submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies outlined why $505,000 is needed to fund the first year of operations for the newly christened national park.
“Robust funding for the Amache National Historic Site in its inaugural year will ensure future generations 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,” Bennet explained.
The text within the proposal said that this newly authorized site will need five employees to fully operate it in 2023.
The funding, if awarded, would also go toward maintaining the remaining structures and landmarks still on the park’s land.
“The cemetery, a reservoir, a water well and tank, the road network, concrete foundations, watch towers, the military police compound, and trees that the internees planted still remain and will require maintenance,” Bennet’s proposal wrote in regards to what specific parts of the park will be buoyed with the awarding of this funding.
FOX31 will bring you the Senate committee’s response to this request when it is released.