February 18, 2015

ICYMI: SENATOR HIRONO HIGHLIGHTS LONG FIGHT FOR DESIGNATION OF HONOULIULI INTERNMENT SITE AS NATIONAL MONUMENT

Washington, D.C. –  Today Senator Mazie K. Hirono praised President Obama’s designation of the Honouliuli Internment Site as a national monument, which has long been a priority for the Hawaii delegation—from Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel Akaka to the current delegation. As a national monument, the Honouliuli Internment Camp, the largest and longest-used confinement site for Japanese and European Americans and resident immigrants in Hawaii, will be permanently protected.

Senator Hirono spoke of the Hawaii delegation’s years long effort to preserve the Honouliuli site on Hawaii News Now Sunrise and KHON2 Wake Up 2day. Click the photos below to view the interviews.

 

Senator Hirono speaks with Hawaii News Now’s Howard Dicus

 

Senator Hirono speaks with KHON2’s Ron Mizutani

 

Roll Call: Hawaii Internment Camp Monument a Legacy of Akaka, Inouye

“The process to secure the monument designation began in earnest in 2009, in much the same way many of Hawaii’s federal projects have originated for decades: through inclusion of language in an appropriations bill by the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii.

Inouye teamed up with his longtime Senate colleague, former Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, on that effort. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, then a member of the House, introduced companion legislation across the Rotunda.

‘The detention of more than 1,000 innocent Hawaii civilians during World War II remains a dark chapter in Hawaii and our nation’s history,’ Hirono said in a statement. ‘The stories of those detained at Honouliuli and internment sites like it across the country are sobering reminders of how even leaders of the greatest nation on Earth can succumb to fear and mistrust and perpetuate great injustice.

‘Preserving the site has long been a priority for our Hawaii delegation — from Senators Inouye and Akaka to our current delegation. I will continue to work closely with the administration, state and local leaders as well as my delegation colleagues to ensure federal resources are delivered for this important project,’ Hirono said.”

The Hill: Obama to create national monument at Hawaii internment camp

“Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), a Japanese-American herself, said Honouliuli serves as a reminder of a dark chapter in the country’s history.

‘The president's executive action is an important step in protecting Honouliuli and the stories of those who were detained in our state and across the nation, highlighting an important but often forgotten piece of our national history,’ she said in a statement.”

Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Landmark of bias

The site of the Honouliuli Internment Camp is set to become a national monument via a presidential pronouncement

“U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said in a statement that the detention of innocent Hawaii civilians during World War II ‘remains a dark chapter in Hawaii and our nation's history,’ while the president's designation highlights ‘an important but often forgotten piece’ of that history.

‘The stories of those detained at Hono­uli­uli and hundreds of camps like it across the country are sobering reminders of how even leaders of the greatest nation on Earth can succumb to fear and mistrust and perpetuate great injustice,’ Hirono said.” 

Honolulu Civil Beat: Hawaii Internment Camp Monument a Legacy of Akaka, Inouye

“Hawaii’s congressional delegation had pushed since 2009 for the designation. As The Hill reports, Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka included language in an appropriations bill that year while then-Rep. Mazie Hirono introduced legislation in the House.

Inouye, who died in 2012, was a Japanese American who served with distinction in Europe during the war. Akaka, who retired in 2013, also served during the war.

Hirono, the first Japanese immigrant to serve in the U.S. Senate, calls the Honouliuli interment “a dark chapter in Hawaii and our nation’s history.” She had this to say about the president’s actions in a press release:

‘The stories of those detained at Honouliuli and internment sites like it across the country are sobering reminders of how even leaders of the greatest nation on Earth can succumb to fear and mistrust and perpetuate great injustice. The President’s executive action is an important step in protecting Honouliuli and the stories of those who were detained in our state and across the nation, highlighting an important but often forgotten piece of our national history. Preserving the site has long been a priority for our Hawaii delegation — from Senators Inouye and Akaka to our current delegation. I will continue to work closely with the administration, state and local leaders as well as my delegation colleagues to ensure federal resources are delivered for this important project.’”

Hawaii News Now: Obama to designate Honouliuli Internment Camp as national monument

“U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said on an interview on Hawaii News Now Sunrise that many people in Hawaii still don't know there was an internment camp here, but the designation will provide resources necessary to be presented in the way it should be.

‘My hope is that the site will be preserved and presented in such a way that people will get the sense of what it must've been like, and to also acknowledge that this dark period of our country's history should never be repeated, but the stories need to be told,’ Hirono said.”