Honouliuli to be national historic monument - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Honouliuli to be national historic monument

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It was a victorious day, but hardly one of celebration.

"I was just crying because it brings up all the sadness again. Although it should be a happy day, it's also a sad day" said Sandy Saifuku Chang, whose grandfather, Sam Nishimura, was incarcerated at Honouliuli Internment Camp.

President Obama announced that he intends to designate Honouliuli as a National Historic Monument. It will fall under the protection and jurisdiction of the National Park Service, which means it will be preserved for generations to come.

"A place of pain and injustice will now become a place of education, a place to teach the lessons of civil rights, the constitution and democracy" said Carol Hayashino, President of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.

Those lessons won't be easy.

"Many of the men were very depressed. Some committed suicide” said Saifuku Chang.

“They never talked about it back then. I think he was trying to forget what happened. He didn't want to relay those bad times" said another of Nishimura's grandchildren, Wanda Fukunaga.

"For many years, those who lived it were burdened by the shame and humiliation of being locked up for no other reason but their ancestry" added Hayashino.

However, now their stories will be able to be told, and while pain is still there, so too is pride.

"I want to move forward, maybe remember some of the negative things. But really move on, try to move the world towards peace" said Saifuku Chang.

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