I love history and consider myself an amateur historian of American History, so when I entered the Cody Wy visitors center to see what the area had to offer, my interest was peeked to learn of a nearby Japanese confinement memorial.
I was eager to tour the site located 12-miles northeast of Cody Wy and with the directions downloaded into the GPS, I was on the property before they opened.
I drove past the main building towards the walking tour memorial above the main building where I captured the photos below.
In the wake of the Japanese attack on Peral Harbor in 1941, the US government detained 120,000 Japanese Americans in 10 relocation camps” around the country mostly in the western portions of the US.
The camp I toured was constructed in the shadow of Heart Mountain between Cody and Powell, Wyoming which is recognized as a National Historic Landmark.
My first stop was the memorial display identifying the 750 Japanese-American soldiers from this camp who served during WWII.
Nearby was another plaque honoring the names of 15- US service members from this camp who died during combat during the war. This confinement camp incarcerated 14,025 Japanese-Americans during World War II. The actual museum is open to the public with an admission fee, $7.00 for adults $5.00 for students/seniors, anyone under 12 is free.
As I walked along the memorial reading the names of survivors, I met three Japanese-American from California who are cousins touring the memorial also.
They recently had a death in the family and wanted to understand and discover more about their parents and grandparents past during which they were ashamed of and rarely spoke of the horribly forced internment events and of being confined at the very camp they were touring
We all walked along the memorial tour and talked about America’s History during this time, and I listened and learned how their parents and grandparents were ordered, then forcibly removed from their homes, jobs, and communities during WWII.
They considered themselves loyal American citizens, yet they were forced to endure the humiliation of being considered a terrorist threat to their country just because of their race.
We talked about the horrors of hatred within America and around the world revealed and shown for Asian and Black people. Yet with we have acknowledged the hope of how hate will be defeated.
However, we all agreed that Americans citizens must openly recognize, understand, and admit our historical prejudicial mistakes, but more importantly, learn from our mistakes, and apologize for our horrible past.
I believe in the establishment of the American holiday of “apology” to yearly recognize the genocidal, horrors created by the establishment America.
The first apologies are for the indigenous people whose ancestors occupied the land we currently stand upon as American’s. Next should be the yearly apology to the descendants of African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Japanese-Americans and all minority groups in America who suffered systemically, documented and repeated prejudice by the America government.
America’s diversity is not routinely revealed or shown in American, politics or mass media. But America’s future is currently being defined by the diversity of its people of color, religion, and ethnicity who are progressively moving to the forefront of American politics and mass media while educating American citizen’s who refuse to acknowledge America as the most diverse country in the world.