Park Service seeks to preserve World War II internment camps

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Bob Fuchigami was 12 years old when he and his family were told to leave their 20-acre farm in northern California. The peach trees that his immigrant parents had planted were about to yield their first big crop.
It was May 1942, five months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Fuchigami and his parents and siblings were among more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans ordered to report to internment camps. The Fuchigamis ended up at one in dusty southeastern Colorado.

He and his family, like many others held in the camps during World War II, never returned to their previous lives and were left with only memories. And the 10 camps themselves, quickly dismantled at the end of the war, also became memories.

Now, the National Park Service is asking former internees like Fuchigami how it can preserve what is left of the camps and the stories they hold. The Service stands to get $38 million to help cities and groups develop educational programs.

"There was a kind of a rush to cover up that piece of history and maybe not deal with it," said National Park Service historian Kara Miyagishima.

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