Honouliuli Special Resource Study
Please note: The comment period closing date will be June 1, 2011.
The National Park Service (NPS) is conducting a "Special Resource Study" of Hawai'i's World War II confinement sites to determine the best way to preserve the sites and share their history. The U.S. Congress, under Public Law 111-88, directed the NPS to carry out this study because of the importance of the confinement story of Hawai'i's Japanese Americans and European Americans forcibly confined during World War II. Mainland sites such as Tule Lake and Manzanar, California and Minidoka, Idaho, tell part of the story of the Japanese American Internment during WWII. However, Hawai'i's unique part of that history is only told on a limited scale.
Preliminary studies have identified 13 sites in Hawai'i where individuals were confined for varying lengths of time between the start of the war in 1941 and its conclusion in 1945. The 13 sites are located on six of the Hawaiian islands. The largest of all the sites in Hawai'i was Honouliuli Gulch, located near Ewa, on O'ahu, where more than 1200 individuals were confined between 1943 and 1945. These individuals were primarily leaders of the Japanese American community, but also included German Americans and Italian Americans, and a number of prisoners of war. Both men and women were interned. Also on O'ahu, hundreds of individuals were processed through the U.S. Immigration Station in Honolulu and temporarily housed on Sand Island, prior to the construction of a larger internment facility at Honouliuli.
Other sites include the Wailua County Jail on Kaua'i, the Wailuku County Jail on Maui, and the Kilauea Military Camp on Hawai'i Island. The sites are in diverse ownership and the NPS will work with owners to identify ways to commemorate this history, if interested.
Most of the sites were used only briefly and few people were held in those temporary locations. In many cases, little remains of the sites and the significant roles they played in the lives of the people involved.
Many people have shared the individual and collective stories of this important part of United States and Hawaiian history, with the express purpose that it become permanently documented as part of World War II's epic history.
As we begin this study, we would like to know more about your vision for the preservation and commemoration of Honouliuli Gulch and other locations throughout Hawai'i, and for sharing of stories relevant to the internment history.
Public information and comment meetings (called "scoping sessions") will be held in February and March to receive public input. After the public scoping sessions have been completed, the NPS will develop a set of preservation alternatives and recommendations, which will be presented to the public for comment and then forwarded to Congress next year.
We hope you will take the time to let us know your thoughts and ideas. There will be other opportunities for public input throughout this study process and we invite you to follow the process on the Honouliuli website (listed below) and participate with your comments. You can check the schedule of meetings at the website and send your comments and suggestions to the e-mail address or mailing address in Honolulu, at the links listed throughout this newsletter.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The NPS Study Team
Suzanne Bott, PhD
(808) 541-2693 ext. 737
National Park Service
Honouliuli Special Resource Study
300 Ala Moana Blvd, St. 6-226
PO Box 50165
Honoululu, HI 96850