Major plans are now under way by the Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) for its 10th annual Evening of Aloha during this history-making year for Japanese American World War II veterans as it recognizes the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service.
This year’s special anniversary event will pay tribute to the veterans of World War II’s segregated units who have been given this highest civilian award. In addition to spotlighting the 100th/442nd and MIS, the program comprises a first-time gathering of the Nisei veterans with the Tuskegee Airmen and the Navajo Code Talkers, two segregated World War II units previously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
Tickets are now on sale for this year’s annual dinner to be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
“As our most important fundraising event of the year, Evening of Aloha is critical to our work of challenging young people to think critically about how their choices can change the world— just as the choices of a remarkable group of young Americans did almost 70 years ago,” remarked Don Nose, president of the Go For Broke National Education Center. “This year’s Evening of Aloha promises to be a truly historic event as it brings together for the first time these three segregated World War II units. It is critical to raise awareness about the courageous patriotism of these fighting men at a period in our nation’s history when they were being discriminated against by their own country.”
Because the historic presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, D.C. will take place days before the Go For Broke dinner, this Evening of Aloha takes on special significance. Only 142 Congressional Gold Medals have been awarded since the award was initiated in 1776 to recognize an individual or unit performing an outstanding deed or act of service to the country’s security, prosperity and national interest.
The Navajo Code Talkers, a group of young enlistees who devised and implemented a code instrumental to the war effort, were honored with this prestigious award in 2001, while the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces and a group that distinguished itself during World War II, received the honor in 2007.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Pasadena) introduced the House bill to honor the 100th/442nd, which was followed with an amended version to include the MIS introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in the Senate. S.1055 was signed into law by President Barack Obama in October 2010. Given the fact that many of these veterans are either elderly or have passed on, it is especially critical that this long-overdue national tribute is being held this year.
To help keep their story alive, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. has donated a brand new 2012 Lexus CT 200h, the first and only full hybrid, luxury compact vehicle, to be given to the lucky winner of a drawing to be held that evening. Drawing tickets are now available through Teresa Ryan at [email protected] or may be purchased on the evening of the event.
Discount tickets are being offered to veterans of all wars as well as community organizations. Individual tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, visit www.goforbroke.org or call (310) 201-5033.