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Heart Mountain cancels annual event due to COVID-19

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Posted at 10:37 AM, Apr 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-12 13:00:11-04

Social distancing measures have claimed another summer tradition.

The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center in Powell, Wyoming has canceled its annual pilgrimage, scheduled for July.

In the past, many of those attending included former internees who are older and more at risk for COVID-19.

The Heart Mountain Foundation has held the pilgrimage every year since the interpretive center opened in 2011.

Last month, the center, which works to maintain what is left of the World War II internment camp for Americans of Japanese descent, increased its online presentations and now covers another aspect of the internment.

"This is an event that is meant to be honorary and also a memorial of sorts, " said Cally Steussy, museum manager. "It's a way of keeping an important memory alive. Otherwise, we'll get careless and then it will happen again. Around mid-March, we decided that we would go ahead to close the museum to the public. We decided that this made it a good time for us to go actually sit down and work through some actual online programming."

Steussy said a consortium of the 10 internment camps is planning an online program scheduled to come out in the summer.