'Never again'



With the cutting of a ceremonial barbed wire fence, the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center near Cody, Wyo., officially opened Aug. 20. It was a dramatic moment for the more than 250 Japanese Americans who were present: All had been imprisoned there during World War II. A crowd of nearly 1,200 other people joined them to celebrate the grand opening and tour some of the camp's restored barracks. Norm Mineta, a former internee who became a congressman and U.S. secretary of Transportation, said that the center's meaning was "not about the past. It's about the future because history has the ability to repeat itself. What we're doing here is drawing a line in the sand to say, 'Never again.' " At a dinner earlier, former TV anchor Tom Brokaw called the creation of internment camps for Japanese Americans one of the most shameful acts in our nation's history. But, he added, the people imprisoned never gave up on the country that sent them there, and "this symbol of failure now becomes -- because of your lives and citizenship -- a symbol of triumph and light to show the way forward."

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