Walking trail traces Japanese internment

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POWELL, Wyoming Most of the buildings are gone. Not that there was much to them, anyway. Many were little more than tarpaper shacks when the first internees arrived at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, a World War II internment camp for Americans of Japanese ancestry.

The desolate landscape that so harshly greeted new arrivals in the summer of 1942 looks much the way it did then, with a little more grass maybe, and a little less sagebrush.

But the memories remain, preserved both by locals and by internees determined never to let this happen again on American soil.

A new interpretive walking trail on this hardscrabble plateau gives visitors a glimpse into life at Heart Mountain, where more than 10,700 internees were forced to live during the war. They were among some 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans forcibly removed from Washington state, Oregon, California and western Arizona and sent to camps in the nation's interior.

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