Annual Amache Pilgrimage – May 21, 2022
To our Friends and Supporters:
We are currently planning for an in-person Pilgrimage following the typical Pilgrimage schedule, on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend, May 21, 2022 (more details below). We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 conditions to ensure the event can be held safely and will post any updates as soon as possible.
With the passage of the Amache National Historic Site Act and the first opportunity for an in-person gathering in over two years, we are expecting increased interest in visitation. The event is free and open to everyone, but we are asking groups to please register by filling out this online form to help us plan. There will now be two buses from Denver to facilitate physical distancing while riding the bus. Even so, there are only about 15 spots available for those who wish to ride the bus and have not yet reserved seats.
We also wanted to let you know that the National Park Service who will be filming aspects of this year’s Amache pilgrimage. If you or members of your party are uncomfortable being filmed, that is fine. Please inform one of the event organizers and we will work with the videographer to exclude footage of you in the final product. The video will be posted to National Park Service web and social media channels and linked on Amache.org as a way to share the event with people who are unable to attend. We will not be livestreaming due to uncertainty with stability of internet coverage. In addition to the NPS filming, several news stations will also be attending the Pilgrimage. It will be a historic event!
We hope you and your families have stayed well and safe, and take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude and thanks for your hard work and support. We look forward to reuniting with you as an even stronger community very soon.
Calvin Hada, President Nikkeijin Kai of Colorado, previously Japanese American Association of Colorado
John Hopper, President Amache Preservation Society
Pilgrimages to former WWII concentration camps for those of Japanese descent were started in the late 1960s. It took nearly a quarter century for former prisoners and their descendants to question why they had been imprisoned and begin searching for answers. Learn more on the Pilgrimage History page.
The annual Amache Pilgrimage typically takes place on the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend, which this year is May 21, 2022.
|11 AM||Memorial Ceremony at the Amache Cemetery|
|12:30 PM||Potluck Lunch at Granada High School|
|1:30 PM||Visit the Amache site or Amache museum|
|2:30 PM||Bus returns to Denver|
Bus from Denver
Thanks to generous support from Nikkeijin Kai, the charge for the bus is still just $30 per person. Bus reservations must be made and paid in advance. The Nikkeijin Kai has decided to reserve a second bus of identical size (55 seats) in order to facilitate physical distancing in the bus. We will also provide KN95 masks, personal sanitizers and other safety equipment to any riders who need them. It goes without saying, if you have symptoms, tested positive for Covid-19 or have been exposed to someone who does or might be infected, please stay home! The NKC will refund the bus fare to anyone who cancels for this reason. We are committed to doing what we can in the name of safety. Given the desire for additional spacing between riders and number pf people already registered, there are only about 15 spots available for those who wish to ride the bus and have not yet reserved seats. Please reserve seats ASAP by registering AND confirming that your payment has been received with Hiro Hansen, 720-366-9798, email@example.com.
Two bus pick-up points are available. The first pick-up will board at 6:00AM at Simpson United Methodist Church, 6001 Wolff Street, Arvada 80003; the second pick-up will be 6:30AM at downtown Denver’s Tri-State Buddhist Temple, 1947 Lawrence Street, Denver 80202. Attendees are encouraged to board at Simpson where parking is more plentiful. The roundtrip fee is $30.00. Snacks are provided and continuous educational programs run on overhead bus screens on the restroom equipped vehicle. There is time to share conversation with other passengers, some of whom were forcibly removed to Amache or to one of the nine other major US concentration camps. After a short rest stop in Limon, the bus will arrive at the Amache cemetery at approximately 11:00AM for a brief memorial service and oshoko (offering of incense) to commemorate those who died while imprisoned there or while serving in the US military. Attendees will then meet at Granada Undivided School, where lunch and a short program will be provided, and the bus will re-board by 2:30 for the return trip to Denver; passengers will be dropped off in reverse order of the morning, and can expect to arrive back at Simpson by 6:30-7:00PM.
If you have your own transportation or are flying in and renting a car, be sure to register for some additional informal activities. Meet for barrack tours at the school an hour and a half after arriving for lunch (announcement will be made at lunch). An informal buffet dinner will be held at Shorty’s Cafe. There will be two seatings, at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM. $14 cash or check only, no credit cards. Please plan accordingly. You can also still order off the menu.
Hotels are available in Lamar, Colorado, 17 miles to the west on Highway 50, including a Holiday Inn and Suites, Days Inn, and Quality Inn. Planning to stay in the area overnight would give you more time during the day to visit the site, go on the driving tour, and visit the Amache Museum. If you plan on spending time at the site, please come prepared with sturdy shoes, water, sunscreen, and a hat. It will be very hot and dry and there are limited amenities. The terrain is rough and uneven with low bushes, rocks, and cactus.
Another option is visiting the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, located 35 miles northwest of Amache, where visitors can learn about the woman for whom the Amache Relocation Center was named and her Cheyenne sub-Chief father, Ochinee, who was killed at Sand Creek in 1864, or other area attractions.
In addition to Denver, Colorado Springs is an optional airport that can save close to 100 miles driving distance vs. arriving in Denver. Pilgrims can drive from Colorado Springs south on Interstate 25 to Pueblo, Colorado, then due east on Highway 50 to Amache, planning to arrive at the cemetery by 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.
***FOR THOSE DRIVING PLEASE NOTE: ALTERNATE ROUTE DUE TO PARADE*** This year, the Lamar Days Parade will begin at 10:00 am on May 21, 2022 and will be along the route to Granada from Lamar. To avoid the parade, you can take a back road to Granada that used to be Highway 196 but is now a county road. You will need to turn at the Big Timbers Museum on the big curve that heads to Lamar. That road will take you to a point between Bristol and Granada, Colorado. You will take that road for 17 miles, and then at the stop sign you will turn right to go into Granada. Once in downtown Granada you need to turn right and head back West to the Amache turn off. This road used to be marked but now that it is a county road, it is not marked as well. If you end up in Lamar, you will be waiting for some time. The parade route will start on Highway 50 and move slowly West towards Lamar.