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Museum to present special month-long public programs

LOS ANGELES—The Congressional Gold Medal awarded in 2011 to Japanese American, or Nisei, World War II veterans in recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments will be on view at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, CA, May 4–June 9, 2013. The medal is on a national tour that will visit seven cities in 2013. The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has partnered with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the National Veterans Network to share the inspiring story of these men who fought with bravery and valor on the battlefields of Europe and Asia, even while many of their family members were held in American internment camps back in the U.S.

The medal is accompanied by an iPad application, social-learning website and curriculum available at This educational package was developed by the National Veterans Network in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Centered on the character values associated with Japanese American veterans—courage, respect, humility, perseverance, compassion and citizenship—these materials will provide users with a constantly growing social-learning community.

The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service veterans by the U.S. Congress Nov. 2, 2011, in recognition of their exceptional service, sacrifice and loyalty to America. The Gold Medal represents Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. A complete list of recipients is available at

Commonly known as the “Go For Broke” regiments, the 100th/442nd is one of the most highly decorated units in U.S. military history, having earned more than 4,000 Purple Hearts, 560 Silver Stars, seven Presidential Unit Citations and 21 Medals of Honor. The MIS, whose highly specialized contributions helped hasten the end of the war, was honored with a Presidential Unit Citation in 2000. More than 19,000 Japanese American soldiers served in these units during World War II.

The Nisei Congressional Gold Medal will come to the Japanese American National Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Los Angeles, following its presentation in New Orleans and at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. The tour will then continue from Los Angeles to other top museums in the country, including the De Young Museum in San Francisco, the Oregon History Museum in Portland, the Chicago History Museum in Chicago and the Holocaust Museum in Houston. At the conclusion of the tour, the Congressional Gold Medal will be on permanent display in “The Price of Freedom” exhibition at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

The Los Angeles presentation includes a month-long public programs series at JANM:

Twice Heroes: America’s Nisei Veterans of WWII and Korea by Tom Graves
Saturday, May 4 • 2PM

Target Free Family Saturday: Picture This!
Saturday, May 11 • 11AM – 4PM • FREE admission all day

Nisei Servicewomen in World War II
Saturday, May 18 • 2PM

Film Screening of MIS: Human Secret Weapon
Saturday, May 25 • 12PM & 2PM

Film Screening of A Flicker in Eternity by Sharon Yamato
Saturday, June 1 • 2PM & 3PM

Film Screening of Go For Broke!
Sunday, June 2 • 12PM & 2PM

Heroes—Performance by Alton Chung
Saturday, June 8 • FREE • 11:30AM/1:30PM /3PM

Check for details.

American Heroes: Japanese American World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal is made possible by the support of AARP, Cole Chemical, Comcast/NBC Universal, the Japanese American Veterans Association, Pritzker Military Library, the Shiratsuki Family and Southwest Airlines.

The National Veterans Network is a coalition of Japanese American veteran and civic organizations representing eight regions in the United States that advocates on a national level to educate and enlighten the public about the experience and legacy of the Japanese American World War II soldiers. The Los Angeles presentation is sponsored by Regional Sponsor, Union Bank, and organized by the Southern California Community Committee for the American Heroes exhibition: 100/442nd Veterans Association, Go For Broke National Education Center, Japanese American Citizens League—Pacific Southwest District, Japanese American National Museum, Military Intelligence Service Club of Southern California, and Veterans Memorial Court Alliance. The Los Angeles media sponsors are LA 18 KSCI TV and The Rafu Shimpo.

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, nine research centers, and numerous educational and cultural programs. To learn more about the collaborating Smithsonian offices involved in this project, visit, and

The Japanese American National Museum, located at 100 North Central Avenue in historic Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles, is dedicated to fostering greater understanding and appreciation for America's ethnic and cultural diversity by preserving and telling the stories of Americans of Japanese ancestry. Since its incorporation in 1985, the National Museum has grown into an internationally recognized institution, presenting award-winning exhibitions, groundbreaking traveling exhibits, educational public programs, innovative video documentaries and cutting-edge curriculum guides.

For more information, call 213.625.0414, or visit Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 8:00 p.m. Admission is $9.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors; $5.00 for students and children; FREE for Museum members and children under age six. Admission is FREE to everyone on Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from noon to 8:00 p.m. Closed Mondays, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

Images available upon request




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