HONOLULU, Hawaii.—The Pacific Beach Hotel overlooking Waikiki Beach played host to over 600 guests consisting of our community’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team veterans, their families and friends. Attendees from all over showed up to honor these Nisei soldiers of World War II. This event was co-sponsored by the 442nd Club of Hawaii and the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd RCT. The current 100th/442nd of the Hawaii Army National Guard participated by carrying the colors and the guidons for this year’s procession.
This year’s event focused on musical tributes to the veterans by community musicians. Professional ukulele artist, Jake Shimabukuro stopped by and entertained the crowd. Shimabukuro has a new CD coming out this fall which will contain a special tribute to the men of the 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team. There was also an informal “open microphone” karaoke segment that allowed various attendees to take advantage of a captive audience.
The luncheon menu featured a combination of ahi tuna and chicken followed by a strawberry shortcake. Mits Kunihiro and his committee did an excellent job coordinating the event; everything seemed to run smoothly and everyone had a great time. Plans are already in the works for the group’s 68th reunion.
Nikkei Writers Guild/JA Living Legacy’s CEO, Susan Uyemura witnessed the ceremony as President William Thompson along with his new board of directors were installed for 2010-2011.
“Third term president, Bill Thompson continually demonstrates his leadership by leading the 442nd Club of Hawaii and by actively participating in the community. He truly is a treasure on these islands,” said Uyemura.
In the lobby, the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd RCT sold event memorabilia. JA Living Legacy’s Nikkei Writers Guild sold the books “And Then There Were Eight” and “From the Battlefields to the Home Front: The Kazuo Masuda Legacy.” Author, Russell Shoho was on hand to autograph copies of his book. The 442nd Foundation also handed out their annual newsletter.
Japanese American Living Legacy is a California nonprofit (501.c.3) organization based out of Cal State Fullerton. All of the board of directors, staff and advisors are volunteers. For more information, visit their Web site or call them at (657) 278-4483.