Sunday, May 20, 2007

Heart Mountain Smoke Stack Pinhole

Medical administration buildings at Heart Mountain internment camp site near Cody, Wyoming stand in ambiguous testament, as so many abandoned buildings in the west. Heart Mountain administered 10,767 internees at its peak. Frank Emi was a organizer of the Fair Play Committee which commenced the only organized constitutional challenge to the draft in the internment camps. August 2005

Minidoka Boundary

Save for one stone structure and these brown plastic markers, Minidoka internment camp has been obliterated. The National Park Service, in conjunction with the Friends of Minidoka, are developing the Issei Memorial. They look to Sanctify this site by creating a space that is more of an experience of remembering the Issei's sacrifices and the future's endebtness to their perserverence. Minidoka Internment National Monument, Idaho. August 2005

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

Poston School

Evidence of animosity since the Poston school and its surrounding land area was returned to the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) by the War Relocation Authority. The Colorado River Indian Reservation Tribal Council opposed the use of their land for a relocation center, because they did not want to participate in inflicting the same type of injustice they had suffered. The Army and the Bureau of Indian Affairs overruled the tribe. At its peak, Poston imprisoned 17,814 Japanese Americans. This is a mural at the Elementary School. The Auditorium was built by internees and was listed on Arizona Preservation Foundation's Most Endangered Property List in 2001, later to be destroyed by fire. Poston Internment Camp, Arizona. April 2006

Rohwer Headstone Pinhole

One of 24 headstones in the heart of a cotton field 12 miles north of McGehee, Arkansas marking the graves of internees. Yoshino Omura was born in 1896 and passed away in Rohwer Internement Camp 1943, she is survived by sons Masayoshi, 22, Mitsuji, 15, and daughter Kimiko, 21. Rohwer internment camp site, Arkansas. July 2005

Minidoka Guard Shack Pinhole

A military police waiting room at the Minidoka internment camp site. Its cemented rocks have endured despite not being of any value to the government or private parties dismantling the camp. Currently, The National Park Service does not offer visitor services at the site but you can get your Minidoka National Monument passport stamp at Haggerman Fossil Beds National Monument, about an hour north west. On May 15, 2007, the NPS presented a proposal to Congress that would provide base funding and designation as Minidoka National Historic Site. The National Park Service has only purchased two camp sites, Minidoka and Manzanar. Minidoka National Monument, Idaho. August 2005

Topaz Broken Dishes Pinhole

Potshards strewn among shreds of sewer lines near the cement foundations of the hospital where my mother was born 14 March 1943. Little else remains at the Topaz internment camp site near Delta, Utah. July 2006

Rohwer Rectified

The smoke stack of Rohwer's hospital boiler plant remains, rectified, at the Delta Element-ary School in McGehee, Arkansas. August 2005

Heart Mountain Pinhole

Heart Mountain watches over a field of Black-eyed Susans as it did when 10,767 internees lived, learned, played, worked, and struggled at Heart Mountain internment camp site near Cody, Wyoming. August 2005

Rohwer Smoke Stack Pinhole

Rohwer and Jerome have been cared for by advocate and former Mayor of McGehee, Rosalie Santine Gould. Her home is the only museum/interpretive/visitor's center for these two camps. She has collected artifacts, photographs, and correspondence from internees for years, working tirelessly to salvage the history America did not want to remember.

Tule Lake

A Japanese internee at Tule Lake, California immortalized herself by carving "Tanaka, 9-26-01" at Petroglyph Point in Lava Beds National Monument during her time at Uncle Sam's leisure. September 2005

Amache Footings Pinhole

Remains of watchtower footings at Amache internment camp site near Granada, Colorado, now guarding grazing pasture, a landfill, and a rodeo practice ring. August 2005