CODY, Wyo. – Former internees and guest speakers came to the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center Saturday to deliver an important message.
Remember and reflect about what happened when thousands of Japanese-Americans were interned there during World War II, and educate others so it will never happen again.
On Saturday, the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center held its 7th annual Pilgrimage.
“We feel that its important to honor our ancestors and especially the ones who were incarcerated here as children, because now those children are now in their 80’s and 90’s and they are still here they are still alive and with us. We are trying to really embody for their children, their grand children and their great grand children the importance of preserving this site and tel the and telling this story for generations to come,” said Shirley Ann Higuchi, chairwoman of the Heart Mountain Interpretative Center.
The interpretive center between Powell and Cody is on land that was one of the relocation centers to intern Americans of Japanese descent and Japanese during World War II. The center held its seventh annual pilgrimage over the weekend.
Several hundred visitors came to the event along with internees, their families and friends and guest speakers.
“In America, we have to learn about our mistakes.The evacuation and the incarceration was one of the worst wartime mistakes. The lesson is that all of us here are trying to convey is don’t ever let this happen again,” internee Raymond Uno said.
Norman Mineta, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation and a congressman from California, was interned at Heart Mountain and spoke of the importance of the gathering.
“It is important that we continue this kind of pilgrimage to make sure that what happened to 120,000 people never, ever occurs again,” he said.
Reporting by Zoe Zandora for MTN News