|Dec. 21, 2016
Permanent display recounting the history of the Gila River Japanese Internment Camp to be dedicated at Chandler’s Nozomi Park Jan. 21
CHANGE IN LOCATION: In anticipation of inclement weather on Saturday morning, the dedication ceremony for the history kiosk at Nozomi Park will now be held at 9:30 a.m. in the Cotton Room of the Tumbleweed Recreation Center, 745 E. Germann Road.
On Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, the City of Chandler will dedicate a kiosk at Nozomi Park with display panels that recount the history of the Gila River Japanese Internment Camp during World War II. The public is invited to attend the 9:30 a.m. ceremony at 250 S. Kyrene Road. Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and members of the City Council will be in attendance, along with members of the Museums Advisory Board, Parks & Recreation Board, Japanese American Citizens League and former internees of the camp.
The history panels are the result of work that began in 2012, originating from a Parks and Recreation Board member with a passion for researching the baseball leagues that formed in the Japanese internment camps of World War II. The project is funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service and the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program that supports exhibits and projects that preserve and bring awareness to this important part of our country’s history.
“The word, ‘Nozomi,’ means hope in Japanese. Hope is precisely what baseball gave many of the individuals held at the camps,” says Chandler Museum Administrator, Jody Crago. “It is for this reason that the kiosk is being placed at a park where the baseball fields have prominence.”
The project is the result of collaboration between the City Parks Division, Chandler Museum, members of the Japanese American Citizens League and Bill Staples, Jr., former Chandler Parks and Recreation Board member/chairman and current Board member of the Nisei Baseball Research Project. The actual site of the camp is on Gila River Indian Community land and is not open to the public. This kiosk gives a location for people to visit to learn more about the Gila River Internment Camp.
“These are important local stories to keep alive. They are part of our history as Arizonans and Americans,” adds Crago.
For more information on this and other Museum events and programs, call 782-2717 or visit chandlermuseum.org.