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Introduction
1)
Title
Topaz: Japanese American Monument II
2)
Town, State
Delta, UT
3)
ID #
1884
4)
Compilation Date (Initial)
October 18, 2010
5)
Compilation Date (Latest)
October 18, 2010
6)
Site Worked Last
December 28, 2010
Description
The memorial recalls a prison camp called Topaz and honors the 11,212 people known to have been locked inside this camp between 1942 and 1945. These men, women and children were some of the more than 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry who were herded onto trains in early 1942 and forcibly removed to inland U. S. reservations like Topaz. Situated in Delta, Utah, some nine miles from its namesake, Topaz Mountain, what happened at Topaz -- mass incarceration within a hastily and shabbily constructed barbed-wired and guarded city following nonnegotiable government executive orders and proclamations -- America would later come to apologize for and make reparations. While anti-Asian sentiment was not new to the U.S., the jailing at this time of certain American residents based on what they looked like, and not because they had done anything illegal, followed Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, setting off World War II in the Pacific. Topaz site opened September 11, 1942, and closed October 31, 1945. • The memorial consists of two images, side-by-side, mounted on a large stone base. The images and text reveal a narrative of the Topaz internment camp and its detainees. (One of the plaques -- left, facing -- gives the closing date of the camp as 1946 instead of 1945. The full text of this plaque is below, under Comments and Notes, COMMENT (1)). • The monument was dedicated in a ceremony at the site on October 9, 1976, which included Utah public officials, community leaders and Japanese Americans who had suffered incarceration at Topaz. The Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) developed the monument as part of a U.S. Bicentennial project in conjunction with Millard County officials. The work is situated on West Main Street (U.S. 6 / U.S. 50) at the corner of North 200 East, Delta, Utah 04624. • Between 1976 and 1980, steps toward resolution of the “Japanese American internment issue” were undertaken with the encouragement of President Gerald Ford and the prodding of the Japanese American Citizens League, so that the following issues, among a number, could begin to be spoken to: apologies from the U.S. government, a form of redress and a commitment to establish centers of teaching for the children of those Japanese Americans. In 1983, a congressional committee that was established in 1980 issued its report, called "Personal Justice Denied," noting the internments as “unjust and motivated by racism rather than real military necessity.” Another recognition in this database of the Topaz experience can be found at ID #364.
Content
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1)
Loss & perseverance
2)
Group of common citizens/persons
3)
Not Applicable
4)
Male and Female
5)
Asian-American/Asian
6)
World War II
Design
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1.)
Man-made
2.)
Inscription/Text Design
Integrated
3)
Stone/Rock w/wo tablet
4)
Stone/rock
5)
Average (life-size)
7)
Inscribed/lettered on tablet
8)
Text available, partial
9)
Yes (see below)
9.1)
Image numbering/location
3000-336.1, 3000-336.2, 3000-336.3, 3000-336.4, 3000-336.5,3000-336.6
10)
Design Preservation
Good
11)
Inscript. Separate from M|M
No
12)
Designers
12.1)
Designer 1
Not yet determined
13)
Fabricators/Builders
Not Yet Determined
Setting
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1)
Park/Garden/Lawn/Field
3)
Appearance/Setting
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4)
Not Entered
5)
October 09, 1976
6)
Not Entered
7)
Not Entered
9)
Under Consideration
10)
Other Monuments on Site
11)
Satisfactory
12)
Local government
Themes
1)
MonumentsandMemorials.com Themes
No Perceived Theme Match
2)
National Historic Landmark Themes
Japanese Americans in World War II
Demography
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1)
File Number
202
2)
Town/City
Delta
3)
County
Millard
4)
District
Intentionally Blank
5)
State
UT
6)
Zip
84624
7)
Country
United States
8)
Latitude (GPS)
39.3526140000
9)
Longitude (GPS)
-112.5788300000
10)
Intersecting Street 1
West Main Street
11)
Intersecting Street 2
North 200 West
12)
Additional Identifier 1
Delta City Park
13)
Additional Identifier 2
US-6 / US-50
15)
Man-made
16)
16.1)
Auxiliary support group
16.2)
Government, county
16.3)
Government, Local
17)
1914-1945
18)
Compilation Date (Initial)
October 18, 2010
19)
19.1)
Book/Pamphlet/Text
19.2)
Correspondence
19.3)
Website
20)
Compilation Date (Latest)
Not Entered
21)
Compilation Technique (Latest)
22)
Source Originator
monumentsandmemorials.com
Comments and Notes
DESIGN: Inscription -- One of the plaques -- left, facing -- gives the closing date of the camp as 1946 instead of 1945. The full text of the plaque is below, under COMMENT (1).
SPONSOR: Auxiliary support group -- Japanese American Citizens League, Salt Lake City, Utah
SPONSOR(S): Government, local and county -- Delta, Millard respectively
SOURCES (1): American Heritage Encyclopedia of American History, s.v. “Japanese-American Internment (1942-45),” “Japanese-American Relocation Cases (1943-44)”; Topaz Museum at http://www.topazmuseum.org/ and at P.O. Box 241, Delta, Utah 84624; Wikipedia, s.v. “Japanese American Internment”
SOURCES (2): Arrington, Leonard J. The Price of Prejudice. Logan, Utah: The Faculty Association, Utah State University, 1962. Reprint, with photographs, Delta, Utah: Topaz Museum, 1997; “Former Relocation Camp Return to Site,” The Daily Herald, Provo, Utah, October 11, 1976; “Topaz Monument Inscription Reported,” Daily Herald, Provo, Utah, October 12, 1976; Warnock, Caleb. Column, Daily Herald, Provo, Utah. August 3, 2003.
COMMENT: (1): Text of marker:
"TOPAZ 1942-1946 CENTRAL UTAH WRA RELOCATION CENTER
Fifteen miles west at Abraham is the location of the bleak desert site of a concentration camp, one of ten in Western America, in which 110,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were interned against their will during World War II. They were the victims of wartime hysteria, racial animosity, and economic opportunism on the West Coast. Confined behind barbed wire fence and guarded by armed sentries and held for no justifiable reason, the internees, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, and the majority of whom were women and children, not only endured the bitter physical discomforts of the desert heat and cold, but sustained a shocking affront to their sense of justice and fair play and human dignity. May this grim episode of basic American principals gone astray remind us to work for understanding and good will and justice in an enlightened America today. The former residents of Topaz remember with grateful appreciation the friendliness and understanding with which the people of Delta received us during the period of our trial and despair."
COMMENT: (2): The ten internment prisons and their locations:
Manzanar: Manzanar, Inyo County, California
Colorado River: Poston, Yuma County, Arizona
Tule Lake: Newell, Modoc County, California
Gila River: Rivers, Pinal County, Arizona
Minidoka: Hunt, Jerome County, Idaho
Heart Mountain: Heart Mountain, Park County, Wyoming
Granada: Amache, Prowers County, Colorado
Central Utah: Topaz, Millard County, Utah
Rohwer: McGehee, Desha County, Arkansas
Jerome: Denson, Drew/Chicoat Counties, Arkansas
COMMENT (3): Another recognition in this database of the Topaz experience can be found at ID #364.




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