Listening sessions intended to help national park service preserve World War II internment sites

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In 2010, the Park Service will accept grant applications for the second year under the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. Earlier this year, NPS gave out the program’s first grants – nearly $1 million in 2-for-1 matching funds to 19 projects in a dozen states. The money can be used to help study, acquire, preserve and protect dozens of locations where more than 110,000 men, women and children, most of them American citizens of Japanese ancestry, were detained and forcibly relocated after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Before beginning the next round of grants for 2010, NPS wants to hear public views about how the program went in its first year. This is to help ensure that the grants financially support projects that most represent the program’s intent: To educate the American public and leave a legacy for future generations by preserving both the physical confinement sites and the stories of Japanese Americans who were held there beginning in 1942.

Next week’s meetings will be held Monday, Nov. 30 through Friday, Dec. 4, in seven cities: Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Honolulu and San Francisco. A list of locations, addresses, times and other information is below.

Congress established the grant program in 2006 to preserve and explain the places where Japanese Americans were rounded up and detained. It authorizes up to $38 million over the life of the grant program to identify, research, evaluate, interpret, protect, restore, repair and acquire historic internment sites.

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