The newest national park in America is Amache NHS in Colorado

Amache National Historic Site in Colorado is the newest national park in America, the National Park Service announced Thursday.

Located in The Centennial State’s far southeast corner just minutes away from the Kansas line, Amache was one of 10 notorious World War II internment camps used to detain Japanese-Americans, who were considered a threat to national security at the time.

The shameful site is located just outside of the town of Granada, which only recently acquired the necessary land to complete the process of turning the camp into a national park, The Denver Post reported.

Visitors at the site, which finally was awarded national park status on Thursday. NPS.GOV

“Amache’s addition to the National Park System is a reminder that a complete account of the nation’s history must include our dark chapters of injustice,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams in a written statement. “To heal and grow as a nation we need to reflect on past mistakes, make amends, and strive to form a more perfect union.”

The process began back in March 2022, when President Joe Biden supported Colorado lawmakers designation efforts, signing their bill into law.

The bill allowed funding to be released in order to further preserve and protect the site.

This historic drawing gives a sense of how many people were packed into the camp in the 1940s. Many of the original building foundations remain. NPS.GOV

Amache was previously listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It achieved National Historic Landmark status in 2006.

“As a nation, we must face the wrongs of our past in order to build a more just and equitable future,” Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said in this week’s announcement. “Today’s establishment of the Amache National Historic Site will help preserve and honor this important and painful chapter in our nation’s story for future generations.”

Amache, where more than 10,000 people were incarcerated between 1942 and 1945, joins six other National Park Service sites previously established as part of a long-term effort to see a notorious chapter of American history preserved.

An informational sign at the camp. NPS.GOV

While the camp lies mostly in ruins today, the original foundations and road alignments remain intact, thanks to years of work by the Amache Preservation Society, the town of Granada and many former Amache inmates and their families.

Besides a historic cemetery and the original ruins, the site contains a monument and a handful of restored and reconstructed buildings, including barracks, a recreation hall and a guard tower.

The announcement came just before America’s annual Day of Remembrance of Japanese-American Incarceration during World War II, recognized every Feb. 19.

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