2008 National Conference » Events

Reconciling A Contested Past: The Santa Fe Internment Camp Marker

Nancy Bartlit, Author, Historian, and Lecturer, Los Alamos Historical Society

Joe Ando, Colonel, United States Air Force (Retired)
Carol Robertson López, Director of Development, The Tishman Group

Topic: Different Views on the Incarceration
Date: Saturday, July 5, 2008
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Location: Capitol 1, 4th Floor

Markers interpreting the past are sometimes "sites" of controversy. A case in point was the hotly contested decision by the City of Santa Fe, in October 1999, to place a commemorative marker at the World War II location of the Department of Justice-run Santa Fe Internment Center, whose population of 4,555 Japanese nationals was overwhelmingly mainland Issei or immigrant-generation Japanese Americans ineligible for U.S. citizenship. Most marker resistance came from veteran’s organizations and the families and friends of New Mexican soldiers who, in 1942, were brutalized by the Japanese Army during the infamous Bata’an Death March. They saw the internees as Japanese oppressors rather than victimized Americans with sons and daughters in the U.S. military during World War II. This panel of marker-controversy participants revisits it from the standpoint of a community healing experience.

JANM_EnduringCommunities_20080705-sante-fe-internment-camp-marker.mp3 (15.3 MB)