National Trust Applauds President Obama’s Designation of Hawai‘i’s Honouliuli Internment Camp as a National Monument
The National Trust for Historic Preservation commends President Obama’s designation of the Honouliuli Internment Camp as a National Monument. The following is a statement from Stephanie Meeks, president and chief executive officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“As the place where over 300 people, including Japanese Americans, Japanese, German and Italian Nationals, were incarcerated during World War II, Honouliuli is an enduring reminder of our nation’s complex history associated with civil rights,” said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “President Obama’s designation of this hallowed ground will ensure that these important lessons will be accessible to a wider audience of visitors.”
In 2007, the National Trust provided a grant to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i to help conduct an archaeological survey of the 122.5 acre Honouliuli Gulch site. The survey documented 130 features related to the incarceration of American civilians, legal resident aliens and prisoners of war at Honouliuli. The results of the survey were used to prepare the successful nomination and inclusion of Honouliuli Internment Camp to the National Register of Historic Places in February 2012.
The Honouliuli camp opened in 1943 and was the last, largest and longest-used World War II confinement site in Hawai’i. It housed nearly 4,000 individuals including 320 Japanese Americans, Japanese, German and Italian Nationals. Unlike the internment of Japanese Americans and Japanese on the American mainland, which was authorized by Executive Order 9066, the internment of American civilians in Hawai’i was authorized by martial law. Now that Honouliuli has been named a unit of the National Park Service, the history of this camp will be accessible to a wider audience of visitors.