Pete Simpson Honored With LaDonna Zall Compassionate Witness Award
Historian, educator and politician Pete Simpson has received the LaDonna Zall Compassionate Witness Award from the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation. The award is a way to honor individuals who may not have been directly affected by the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II but devoted their lives to bring awareness and light to the injustice.
Dakota Russell, the executive director of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, said historian, educator and politician Pete Simpson is a perfect example of this because of his long-standing support of this cause. Russel said Simpson visited the internment camp as a boy scout and has vivid memories.
"He obviously went in thinking that these were dangerous people that were here behind the barbed wire," said Russell. "He very quickly learned that they were kids just like himself. And so he came to understand fairly quickly that this was unjust, that this was unfair."
Then he grew up and stood up for injustice and has supported the foundation.
The award is named after the Curator Emeritus for the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. LaDonna Zall passed away last month so Russel said the award ceremony will also be a recognition of her life. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, July 24 at 10:00 a.m. at Heart Mountain. The event is open to the public.