Live Broadcast to Mark Go For Broke Monument Anniversary

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June 5 virtual tribute to feature special recognition of JA WWII military units.

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An overhead view of the Go For Broke Monument in Little Tokyo.

Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) will present its annual hallmark event marking the 22nd anniversary of the iconic Go For Broke Monument on Saturday, June 5, at 12 p.m.

With new voices and perspectives, the virtual program will highlight the remarkable stories of courage, patriotism and sacrifice of the Japanese American World War II soldiers and the relevance of their legacy to the issues our nation faces today. The program is accessible online, free of charge, on YouTube, Facebook and on www.goforbroke.org.

Each first Saturday in June since 1999, GFBNEC has held a community gathering in Little Tokyo to commemorate the Go For Broke Monument, a striking dedication that honors more than 16,000 Japanese American men and women who served overseas during World War II. In total, more than 33,000 Japanese Americans served in the segregated military units of the 100th Infantry Battalion; 442nd Regimental Combat Team; 522nd Field Artillery Battalion; 232nd Combat Engineer Company; Military Intelligence Service; 1399 Engineering Construction Battalion; Women’s Auxiliary Corps; Army Nurse Corps; and Cadet Nurses.

Nikki Kodama and Kendyl Yokoyama

Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s president and chief executive officer, and David Ono, ABC7 news anchor and member of GFBNEC’s Board of Directors, will host the live tribute presentation.

Nikki Kodama, granddaughter of Yoshio “Buddy” Mamiya, 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran and founding member of GFBNEC, will give the keynote address. Kendyl Yokoyama, an actress currently in the cast of the “Hamilton” national tour, will sing the national anthem and “America the Beautiful.”

“This past year has been both equally challenging and exciting as we were able to engage online with national and international audiences well beyond our pre-pandemic reach,” Maki said. “While we once again cannot gather in person, we will present another inspiring program that includes more than 30 people and highlights their connections to our veterans and our organization. I am especially pleased that viewers will hear six personal stories about each of the military units, including the women nurse corps units.”

In support of GFBNEC’s expanded educational programming and outreach, event sponsorships and general contributions can be made pre- and post-event online at www.goforbroke.org. The monument anniversary program will also be available on GFBNEC’s YouTube and Facebook channels after the live broadcast.

For more information on ways to support GFBNEC’s educational initiatives, or for questions about the virtual event, email [email protected] or call (310) 328-0907.

The event is presented, in part, by Signature Sponsor Richard and Patricia Shinto and family; Legacy Sponsor Tokuji Yoshihashi and family; and Patriot Sponsors Nikki Kodama and Arnold Yniguez, The Pacific Bridge Companies and The Kazuo and Mary Yamane Foundation. The event media sponsors are The Rafu Shimpo and The Hawai’i Herald/Hochi.

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