By Danielle Chavira

GRANADA, Colo. (CBS4)- Two U.S. lawmakers representing Colorado are coming together to introduce a bill to designate the Amache Incarceration Site near Granada, Colorado as a national park. Congressmen Joe Neguse and Ken Buck are behind the idea.

The Amache Incarceration Site was one of 10 centers where thousands of people, mostly of Japanese descent, were forced to relocate and be interned during the first months of World War II.

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(credit: amache.org)

It was result of an executive order under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“Two-thirds of the people at Amache were American citizens. Most had never been to Japan. Many others were first-generation Japanese elders who had immigrated from Japan and were denied U.S. citizenship for decades,” the lawmakers stated in a news release.

An educational center would be created at the site to recognize its dark history.

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“Designation of the Amache site in southeast Colorado as a National Park, will provide education for future generations on this dark time in our nation’s history, as well as healing and honor to those that lived it. It is our hope that preservation of this site will provide reconciliation for our communities and for the nation,” said Neguse.

“I am proud to introduce the Amache National Historic Site Act with Rep. Neguse because it is so important that we remember the injustices committed against Japanese Americans,” Rep. Ken Buck said. “The nation is better today because of the lessons we have learned from our past. Preserving Amache serves as one of those hard lessons for the people of Eastern Colorado and the rest of our nation.”

Members of the Japanese Association of Colorado say they strongly support the bill.

The Colorado chapter of the National Parks Conservation Association says the park system serves the public as “America’s storyteller,” and the history of the Amache Incarceration Site deserves to be told.

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The bill is expected to be introduced on April 21.

Danielle Chavira