Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gila River Canal Camp Pinhole

An inscription in wet cement memorializes Sawaki Horada, a testament to those who sired ponds in the desert. The internees at Gila River's Canal Camp forged green gardens that welcomed my father when he was born there. Canal Camp is the obliterated site at Gila. Butte Camp is the memorialized site, the characteristic symbol of Gila, bearing its half-circle memorial on the hill. The Gila River Indian Tribe objected to the building of the camp on their land. Gila River was designed for 10,000 internnes but held 13,348. Due to the overcrowding, some families lived in the mess halls or recreation buildings, using blankets for walls. At this time, Gila River was Arizona's fourth-largest city. It was one of the least oppressive camps. The signature barbed wire was removed early and it had only a single watchtower. July 2006

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