Sending Office: Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
Support preserving the unique history of Pearl Harbor and the Honouliuli Internment Camp
Deadline: COB May 7, 2018
The World War II Pacific Sites Establishment Act would remove Pearl Harbor – including its memorials, such as the USS Arizona Memorial – from the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, designated by President George W. Bush in 2008, and establish
the site as the “Pearl Harbor National Memorial.” This bill would also change the designation of Honouliuli National Monument to the “Honouliuli National Historic Site,” further recognizing the importance of preserving the darkest moments in U.S. history
and the uniqueness of this site’s role in World War II.
Pearl Harbor symbolizes a pivotal time in world and U.S. history; it is currently part of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which includes multiple sites from three states – California, Alaska, and Hawaii. In addition to the geographical
separation of these sites, those in California and Alaska represent different themes, lessons, and stories from World War II. Separating Pearl Harbor, which enjoys 1.8 million visitors annually, from the rest of the national monument will provide Pearl Harbor
with the elevated recognition it deserves.
The Honouliuli Internment camp (also known as “Jioku-Dani” or “Hell Valley” by those interned there) opened March 2, 1943 and was the largest and longest used confinement site in Hawaii. Honouliuli is unique among Japanese American confinement sites in
the U.S. as it was used as both a civilian internment camp and a prisoner of war camp. Honouliuli was kept secret and information regarding Honouliuli didn’t resurface until decades after the camp was closed. Internees, like my grandfather, never spoke about
their experience at Honouliuli. Establishing Honouliuli as a National Historic Site will further efforts to bring this painful memory out of obscurity so that future generations can learn and grow from our nation’s past mistakes.
I invite you to join me as an original cosponsor of the World War II Pacific Sites Establishment Act. If you have any questions or would like to be added as a cosponsor, please contact Nick St Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Elizabeth Songvilay (email@example.com).
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