SACRAMENTO — On Saturday, May 26, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) and various community partners will host a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring surviving Japanese American veterans who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion, and Military Intelligence Service during World War II.
The Nisei units collectively received the Congressional Gold Medal late last year.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps. In spite of this, many Japanese American men volunteered to defend their country and joined the 100th/442nd to right in Europe or the MIS to serve as translators and interpreters in Asia and the Pacific.
“It is due time that these members of the 442nd RCT, 100th IB and MIS, who risked their lives for our nation in World War II, each be recognized and honored,” said Matsui. “In the face of prejudice and unjust incarceration, these men dedicated themselves to the country that had turned its back on them. Their strength and resolve are to be admired by all.”
During the Sacramento event, surviving veterans of these units who were unable to make it to the official event in Washington, D.C. this past November will be presented with an official replica of the medal.
Hosted in partnership with the Sacramento Japanese American Citizens League and the Asian Community Center of Sacramento, the event will take place at the California Museum, 1020 O St., Sacramento, in the Secretary of State’s Courtyard. Doors will open at 10 a.m. and the program will begin at 11 a.m. Light refreshments will be served.
Eligible veterans who wish to be presented with a replica gold medal are encouraged to RSVP at http://sacramentocgm.eventbrite.com.
On Nov. 2, 2011, congressional leaders of both parties awarded the medal to 832 surviving members of the 100th/442nd and MIS at the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall. Matsui, who attended the ceremony, was an original co-sponsor of H.R. 347, legislation that granted the medal to the Japanese American units. President Obama signed the bill in October 2010.
“Because of their age and travel constraints, some members of the 442nd RCT, 100th IB and MIS were not able to make it back to Washington last November. This ceremony is in special recognition to those veterans that were unable to attend, and brings us together to honor their service,” said Matsui.