Between 1942 and 1945, the Topaz Wartime Relocation Center, located near Delta, Utah, was one of several internment camps set up in remote, rural areas of the western United States to hold the nearly 120,000 Americans of Japanese extraction who were forced to leave their homes under Executive Order 9066.
Today, little remains of the original site—strands of sagging barbed wire, uncovered remnants of stone pathways, the rusting remains of a backstop on a baseball diamond—but on Delta’s Main Street the history of the camp, and the resilient people who lived there, is beautifully displayed and preserved at the Topaz Museum. Their Mission Statement promises that it won’t be forgotten:
“To preserve the Topaz site and the history of the internment experience during World War II; to interpret its impact on the internees, their families, and the citizens of Millard County; and to educate the public in order to prevent a recurrence of a similar denial of American civil rights.”
Those who cannot remember the past are
condemned to repeat it. —George Santayana