HONOLULU (AP) — The National Park Service on Thursday proposed making the former Honouliuli Internment Camp on Oahu either a monument or historic site.
The park service plans to host meetings this month and next to get the public’s feedback.
Honouliuli had about 320 internees during World War II. Most were second-generation Japanese-Americans, but the camp also had Japanese, German and Italian nationals.
Honouliuli was also the largest prisoner of war camp in Hawaii.
Monsanto Co. currently owns the land west of Waipahu where the camp was located.
But it plans to donate it to the park service.
The park service said the site would offer visitors an opportunity to learn about World War II internments in Hawaii, martial law, civil liberties, peace and reconciliation.
More than 2,000 residents of Japanese and European ancestry were incarcerated in at least 17 locations around Hawaii during the war.
The park service evaluated the 17 sites for their role and importance in telling the internment story. Two of them, Honouliuli and the U.S. Immigration Station in Honolulu, were found to be nationally significant.
The immigration station was deemed not suited for monument or historic site status because it’s currently being used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the state Department of Health.
Public meetings are scheduled to be held in Kapolei and Honolulu on Oahu, Lihue on Kauai, Kaunakakai on Molokai, Kahului on Maui, Lanai City on Lanai and Hilo on Hawaii Island.