Plaque Honoring Former Governor Ralph Carr Unveiled

December 12, 2010 - Central Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - PARK COUNTY – Former State Rep. Rob Witwer, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Executive Director Russell George, representatives from the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) and other local and state dignitaries dedicated a plaque today, commemorating former Colorado Gov. Ralph Carr for his many accomplishments, especially those supporting Japanese-Americans and civil rights.

“We’re here today to recognize Governor Carr for reminding us of what is great about Colorado and America,” said Rep. Witwer.  "Standing up for American citizens of Japanese ancestry at the beginning of World War II may not have been the popular thing to do, but it was the right thing to do.  Gov. Carr knew his actions could cost him his political career, yet he yielded to a higher principle than his own ambition.  Gov. Carr's courage is an inspiration to all Americans who hold fast to the timeless truths embodied in the Constitution."

Carr served as Colorado’s governor from 1939 to 1943.  He now is recognized for opposing the federal government's efforts to intern American citizens of Japanese ancestry without due process during World War II.  Many of these American citizens were sent to camps, including Amache near Granada, Colo.

U.S. 285, from C-470 to the Colorado/New Mexico border, was designated the Ralph Carr Memorial Highway by a unanimous resolution of the Colorado General Assembly in 2008.  The commemorative plaque is located at the top of Kenosha Pass, in the Colorado Trail parking lot.   Funding came from the private support of individuals and organizations, including the APABA.

“After a story ran in a California newspaper, several letters and donations began arriving at CDOT to help with the fundraising effort,” added Witwer.  “These letters came from individuals who had family interned in Colorado or from people who had actually been interned at the camp themselves.  Those heartfelt, handwritten letters and stories, along with some pictures, have brought us here today to recognize Ralph Carr’s legacy.”