Listen to Survivor and Descendant voices! Release the video!

Listen to Survivor and Descendant voices! Release the video!

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Wakasa Memorial Committee started this petition to Former President, Topaz Museum Board Jane Beckwith and

One year ago, the Topaz Museum Board of Directors forklifted, dragged, and stowed the most sacred artifact of the Japanese American World War II concentration camps: the Wakasa Monument, a half-ton memorial stone erected by immigrants to remember their friend, James Wakasa, who was killed by a guard while walking his dog.

The friends were forced by authorities to destroy the monument, but they buried it instead. It lay silently in the Utah ground for 77 years until two archaeologists rediscovered the top of it in 2020. 

The Topaz Museum Board unilaterally, without archaeologists or Japanese Americans to witness this historic and spiritual moment, pulled and dragged the monument out without the benefit of any form of outside consultation from professionals or stakeholders.This civil rights memorial site still lies in an untreated, vulnerable condition despite repeated pleas to allow archaeological access and protection.

The site requires a community archeology project led by the National Park Service to recover artifacts left behind and to start community healing. 

The Topaz Museum Board created and maintains a video record of the unearthing, but has refused to allow it to be seen. This video must be released. It contains baseline information about the condition of the site before and after the unearthing, information that is necessary to carry out a professional re-excavation. 

Japanese Americans should be allowed to see for themselves the removal of the sacred Wakasa Monument. We urge the Topaz Museum Board to respect Japanese American history by acknowledging and honoring two demands:

1. Release the video of the excavation of the monument so the truth of the event can be witnessed;

2. Allow the National Park Service to lead a Community Archaeology Project so that the place where one of our ancestors was murdered can receive professional assessment and handling with participation by students, Japanese American survivors and descendants and dedicated volunteers.

Signed, 

Topaz concentration camp survivors 

Toru Saito, 84, child at Topaz 

Akemi Yamane Ina, 79, born at Topaz 

Kiyoshi Ina, 79, born at Topaz

Patrick Hayashi, 78, born at Topaz 

Masako Takahashi, 78, born at Topaz 

 

For more information: www,WakasaMemorial.org

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!