FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 13, 2018
Leslie Unger, Director of Marketing and Communications, Japanese American National Museum - firstname.lastname@example.org - 213-830-5690
Pauline Yoshihashi, Strategic Communications for GFBNEC - email@example.com - 323-683-8191
CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE TO COMMEMORATE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF WWII JAPANESE AMERICAN 100TH INFANTRY BATTALION/442ND RCT
Sen. Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) To Present Resolution Honoring Nisei Veterans On June 25, 2018
The nonprofit Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) and the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) today announced that the California State Senate plans to adopt a resolution commemorating the 75th anniversary of the formation of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, the venerable Japanese American World War II unit. The resolution, to be presented by California State Senator Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) on June 25, 2018, on the floor of the California State Senate, will honor surviving members of the 100th/442nd.
The 100th/442nd, which consisted almost exclusively of Nisei, or second-generation Japanese American men, became the most decorated military unit in U.S. history for its size and length of service. Together with the Military Intelligence Service, the Nisei soldiers were credited with saving countless lives at the cost of many of their own. More than 30,000 Japanese Americans, both volunteers and draftees, served in the military during WWII despite the forced incarceration of 120,000 individuals of Japanese descent on the U.S. mainland. Two-thirds of those incarcerated without due process were American citizens.
“It is my honor to recognize the sacrifice of this group of Americans and all those who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team,” Sen. Pro Tem Atkins said. “These brave men put honor, duty and sacrifice above life itself. On behalf of the California State Senate, we thank you.”
Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, noted that while many of the veterans of the “Greatest Generation” have passed on, their lessons remain timeless. “These men fought for democracy and due process, defending our country when it had turned its back on them,” Maki said. “We’re privileged to still have some of these brave Americans here with us today, at a time when their values of loyalty, patriotism and social justice are more relevant than ever.”
“The Japanese American soldiers who made up these military units epitomized patriotism and heroism despite the disgraceful discrimination many of them and their families faced in the United States,” said Ann Burroughs, President and Chief Executive Officer of JANM. “They are deserving of our utmost respect and every accolade that can be offered. I thank Senate Leader Atkins for making this occasion possible.”
Maki and Burroughs will be present with surviving members of the 100th/442nd on the Senate floor when the resolution is adopted.
Note to Media: “Go For Broke” was the motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated Army unit composed of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland. The term was Hawaiian slang for “shooting the works,” or risking everything for the big win in gambling—as the Nisei soldiers did while fighting in the field in WWII and facing prejudice at home in the U.S.
About Go For Broke National Education Center
Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation that educates the public on the valor of Japanese American veterans of World War II and their contributions to democracy. Our goal is to inspire new generations to embody the Nisei veterans’ core values of courage, sacrifice, equality, humility and patriotism. Founded in 1989, GFBNEC maintains the Go For Broke monument and the interactive “Defining Courage” exhibition in downtown Los Angeles, as well as extensive oral histories and archives, education and training programs, and other initiatives. For more information, please visit www.goforbroke.org.
About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)
Established in 1985, the Japanese American National Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public, JANM has presented nearly 80 exhibitions onsite and traveled 20 of its exhibitions to locations around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America. The museum’s core exhibition, Common Ground: The Heart of Community, chronicles 130 years of Japanese American history, from the early days of the Issei pioneers through the World War II incarceration to the present.