NPS draft study proposes adding Hawai‘i WWII incarceration camp site to nat’l system

The National Park Service released a draft study May 8 proposing that the Honouliuli Internment Camp on the island of O‘ahu, where Japanese and European American residents from Hawai‘i were incarcerated during World War II, be added to the National Park System as a National Historic Site or National Monument.

The National Park Service currently manages three sites — located in Minidoka in Idaho, Manzanar, Calif. and Tule Lake, Calif. — within the United States where Japanese Americans and others were incarcerated during World War II, but this would be the first in Hawai‘i.

According to the National Park Service statement, the Honouliuli study evaluates 17 sites that represent the stories and impacts of the wartime incarceration in Hawai‘i. “While many of the sites are listed, or eligible to be listed, on the National Register of Historic Places, two stand out: the Honouliuli Internment Camp and the U.S. Immigration Station. The study finds that these two sites depict a distinct and important aspect of American history associated with civil rights in times of conflict that is not adequately represented or protected elsewhere, and are therefore suitable for inclusion in the National Park System. Of these, only the Honouliuli Internment Camp itself is determined to be a feasible addition to the system,” the statement said.

Under the study’s preferred alternative, “a national historic site or national monument managed by the NPS would be established as a new unit of the National Park System. The national historic site or national monument would include the site of the Honouliuli Internment Camp, which would be transferred to the NPS by donation, as well as adjacent lands to provide road access and opportunities for visitor services,” the statement said.

The NPS would preserve the site and interpret the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans and European Americans in Hawai‘i during World War II. The NPS could also provide technical assistance for the preservation and interpretation of other sites, features, and stories related to the mass incarceration in Hawai‘i during World War II.

Congress authorized this study in 2009, and the public was invited in 2011 to provide input. With this release of the draft study report, the public is again asked to share their thoughts with the NPS.

Public comments are welcomed by mail, e-mail, or entered directly into the NPS online public comment system through July 15. In addition, the NPS will host a series of public meetings throughout Hawai‘i during May and June 2014 in order to present the draft study report, answer questions, and accept comments.

The executive summary, full report, and the NPS public comment system are available at the study Website: http://www.nps.gov/pwro/honouliuli.

Following receipt and review of public comments, a final report, including a course of action recommended by the Secretary of the Interior, will be transmitted to Congress.
Public Meeting Schedule:

• Tuesday, May 27, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Lab Building E132, University of Hawai‘i-West O‘ahu, 91-1001 Farrington Highway, Kapolei

• Wednesday, May 28, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2454 South Beretania St., #101, Honolulu

• Thursday, May 29, 10 a.m. to noon, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, 2454 South Beretania St., #101, Honolulu

• Thursday, May 29, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Līhu‘e Neighborhood Center, 3353 Eono Street, Līhu’e, Kaua‘i

• Monday, June 2, 10 a.m. to noon, Kaunakakai Elementary School Cafeteria, Ailoa St., Kaunakakai, Molokai:

• Monday, June 2, 6 to 8 p.m., Alexa Higashi Room, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, One Cameron Way, Kahului, Maui

• Tuesday, June 3, 2 to 4 p.m., The Lāna‘i Senior Center, 309 Seventh St., Lāna‘i City, Lānai

• Wednesday, June 4, 6-8 p.m., Hawai‘i Japanese Center, 751 Kanoelehua Ave., Hilo, Island of Hawai’i

• Tuesday, June 17, 10 a.m. to noon (HST), 1 to 3 p.m. (Pacific), 4 to 6 p.m. (EST) virtual meeting; virtual meeting Web access information, along with the Honouliuli Gulch and Associated Sites Draft Special Resource Study executive summary and full report are available, as well as the NPS online public comment system, will be posted at www.nps.gov/pwro/honouliuli.For more information, e-mail pwr_honouliuli@nps.gov.

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