Washington DC—Almost seven decades after the heroic deeds and sacrifices of these celebrated troops, a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony will be held in our nation’s Capitol honoring members of the U.S. Army 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) for their dedicated service in World War II.
Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) today voted in favor of Senate Concurrent Resolution 28, which will allow the use of Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center for the commemoration on November 2, 2011.
Senator Daniel K. Inouye introduced the measure in the U.S. Senate last month where it passed on September 8th with support from fellow Hawaii Senator Daniel K. Akaka.
On October 5, 2010, President Barack Obama signed legislation collectively granting the Congressional Gold Medal to members of 100th Battalion/442nd RCT and MIS for their decorated service. These Japanese-Americans soldiers were mostly from Hawaii.
“This November, we will hold a long-awaited ceremony that pays tribute to the service and unquestioned loyalty of these heroic WWII veterans. These soldiers faced wartime challenges with honor and dignity not only on the battlefields of Europe, but back home during uncertain times,” said Congresswoman Hirono. “I look forward to this commemoration that will allow our nation to acknowledge their heroism and sacrifice.”
“I am very pleased that we will be able to use this space to commemorate this moment and share it with our families, loved ones, and friends. I was with several of my former comrades in arms in the Oval Office when the President signed the recognition, making it official. We appeared to be in a happy, jovial mood, but I am certain that all of us recognized the emotional caliber of the moment. We knew that the recognition we were receiving was the result of lost lives and bloodshed. We remembered our brothers who did not come home from the war. We were humbled, proud and pleased that the contributions and sacrifices we made in defense of our country were recognized. I am very grateful to this nation for remembering us,” said Senator Inouye.
“I am looking forward to seeing thousands of Nisei veterans and their families fill Emancipation Hall at the Capitol as Congress presents the units this well deserved honor for their heroic service which helped win the war. The statues of Kamehameha and Lady Freedom will frame the ceremony as these World War II heroes are honored with the Congressional Gold Medal,” said Senator Akaka.
“This recognition of valor and heroism is long overdue,” said Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, member of the House Armed Services Committee. “Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, these remarkable heroes volunteered to defend a country that declared them to be ‘enemy aliens.’ They clamored for permission to fight for a nation that sent many of their family members and friends to internment camps. This ceremony will give us the opportunity to thank these veterans for their service and sacrifice – and honor those who are not with us to witness this extraordinary moment.”
For the latest updates on the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony, please visit the National Veterans Network
Submitted by the office of Congresswoman Hirono