In a recent commentary (Pacific Citizen, Sept. 9-22), David Inoue wrote that the Wakasa Monument, in spirit, “belongs” to the community.” He is right. That is why WMC advocates to communicate the perspectives of survivors, descendants and members of the Japanese American community on the treatment of our sacred cultural heritage: the Wakasa Memorial Stone and Site.
We are mystified by Mr. Inoue’s unhelpful hyperbole, especially his describing the conflict between the Topaz Museum Board and Wakasa Memorial Committee as “intractable,” comparing it to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The situation is not “intractable.” The WMC asked the Utah State Historic Preservation Office to convene inclusive meetings, and it generously agreed to do so. We appreciate the Museum’s decision to take part. Two meetings have taken place; the working group includes the Utah SHPO, National Park Service, Utah State Sen. Jani Iwamoto and representatives from the Topaz Museum and the WMC.
We are mystified by Mr. Inoue’s unhelpful hyperbole
We already have agreed on urgent steps to protect the monument and the site as winter approaches.
We look forward to community healing through future meetings, public archaeology and transparent discussions about how to preserve and interpret this precious treasure left to us by our ancestors. We invite all members of the JACL to support these historic preservation efforts.
Wakasa Memorial Committee
The JACL’s NCWNP District is a member of the Wakasa Memorial Committee’s advisory council. Several WMC members and advisers, including Karen Korematsu, Satsuki Ina, Karen Kiyo Lowhurst, Barbara Takei and Nancy Ukai, are JACL members.