Pearl Harbor, HI – The Battleship Missouri Memorial will pay tribute to the bravery, sacrifice and legacy of America’s Nisei soldiers of World War II at its Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, November 11, 4:30–5:30 p.m., on the fantail of the Battleship Missouri.
Being honored at the ceremony are the Nisei (second-generation U.S.-born Japanese-American citizens) soldiers who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442ndRegimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.
On December 7, 1941, hundreds of Hawaii’s Nisei residents were serving on active duty with the Army or Territorial Guard when Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and other defense installations. However, many were soon removed from their units by a government suspicious of their loyalty. Most of these Nisei went on to form the 100th Infantry Battalion or to serve in the Military Intelligence Service. Subsequently, thousands more Nisei answered a 1943 call for volunteers for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of the U.S. military.
“Seventy years ago our Nisei soldiers entered World War II and overcame the dual challenges of prejudice at home and threats to our nation’s freedoms overseas with undaunted service and incredible feats of courage,” said VADM Bob Kihune, USN (Ret.), Chairman of the Board, USS Missouri Memorial Association. “On November 11, we are honoring all of America’s Armed Forces veterans and giving special recognition to our Nisei soldiers for all that they gave and sacrificed for the generations that followed.”
Held on the battleship where World War II ended on September 2, 1945, and world peace was restored, the Missouri’s Veterans Day ceremony will feature a keynote address from Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., who assumed command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet on October 16.
The ceremony will also signal the opening of a special exhibit onboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial honoring the service and exploits of America’s Nisei soldiers.
The Veterans Day ceremony is free and open to the public. The Battleship Missouri Memorial is providing complimentary roundtrip shuttle service to Pier Foxtrot 5 from the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. Guests are advised to RSVP by November 7 to www.ussmissouri.org/veteransday.
The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. General admission, which includes choice of an optional tour, is $22 per adult and $11 per child (4-12). Military, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (toll-free) 1-877-644-4896 or visit USSMissouri.org.
The Battleship Missouri Memorial, located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” and the sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Following an astounding career that spans five decades and three wars, from World War II to the Korean conflict to the Liberation of Kuwait, the “Mighty Mo” was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which operates the battleship as a historic attraction and memorial.
The Association oversees her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants and the generosity of donors.