Heart Mountain Relocation Center Memorial - Ralston, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 44° 40.225 W 108° 56.501
12T E 663154 N 4948399
Set in an isolated and desolate area in northern Wyoming, the Heart Mountain Relocation Center was one of ten such camps built to hold Japanese Americans uprooted from their west coast homes during World War II.
Waymark Code: WM10EAQ
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 04/22/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
Views: 1

After the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, the U.S. government considered Japanese American citizens to be a potential threat to the security of the country, in particular those living along the Pacific coast, the most likely scene of a Japanese invasion on the U.S. mainland, should one occur. As a result, tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were incarcerated in detention centers in inland areas, usually in remote areas on government owned land. These fears proved totally unfounded, as U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry, on the whole, proved patriotic to their new homeland, with many serving meritoriously in the armed forces through the war. In fact, a great many from the internment camps served, many with distinction.

Today the 123 acre site of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the most intact of the ten relocation centres built during the war. Several buildings survive on the site, including the most intact hospital complex of the ten camps, as well as other structures and features.

In 2011 the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center opened, dedicated to passing on the Heart Mountain story to future generations. The museum houses photographs, artifacts, oral histories and interactive exhibits depicting the wartime relocation of Japanese Americans, anti-Asian prejudice in America and the factors which lead to their enforced relocation and confinement.

On the grounds of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center is a walking trail, along which are several historical markers, dedicated benches and memorials. This memorial is a recreation of one erected in 1944 by the internees to honour those who fought for the U.S. in World War II. Following is text from one of two historical markers placed at the monument, this one including a brief history of Heart Mountain.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, many parts of the West Coast were declared military defense zones. The government ordered the removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry and the War Relocation Authority was established in March 1942 to house them in inland camps. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center was one of ten temporary camps constructed to confine over 110,000 men, women and children forced to leave their homes in California, Oregon, Washington and part of Arizona. It was the only camp located in Wyoming.

Construction on the center began in June 1942 and the first internees arrived in August of that year. At the peak of its population the Heart Mountain Center, which covered over 740 acres, contained nearly 11,000 people housed in 450 barracks. Although surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards, the internees kept the camp functioning as a small city with its own public works, grade schools, a high school, hospital and newspaper. At the time it was the third largest city in Wyoming.

The camp was closed in November 1945, the buildings removed and the land, made arable by irrigation ditches completed by the internees, was opened up for homesteading.

A portion of the Heart Mountain Center was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 19, 1985. The area listed includes the immediate vicinity of this Honor Roll and the structures located to the east.

This monument was erected by the internees at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in August 1944 to honor those from the camp who served in the United States armed forces in World War II. The photographs to the right and below show the Honor Roll as it was in 1944. Although the elements have erased the names of those listed, the structure still remains as it was originally. In 1978 the Honor Roll was preserved as a memorial not only to those Japanese-Americans who served in the military, but also to recognize the sacrifices of those who were interned here throughout the war. In 1985 a plaque was erected memorializing those people from Heart Mountain who gave their lives in World War II.
From the Historical Marker
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Marker Name: Heart Mountain Relocation Center Memorial

Marker Type: Rural Roadside

Group Responsible for Placement: Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation

Date Dedicated: 1/1/1978

Web link(s) for additional information: [Web Link]

Addtional Information: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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