JAVA Requests Public Ceremony for Nisei Soldier Stamp

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WASHINGTON — The Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) has requested that the U.S. Postal Service hold a public ceremony for its “Go For Broke” stamp, whose design was recently unveiled.

In a Feb. 22 letter to Shawn Quinn, USPS manager of stamp development, JAVA President Gerald Yamada wrote:

“Thank you for your response dated Dec. 10, 2020 regarding the ‘Go For Broke’ stamp. We appreciate very much your clarification that the stamp design is intended to honor all the Nisei soldiers who served in World War II. This is a very meaningful tribute to those soldiers and their families.

“On a related matter, I am inquiring about the stamp release date in 2021. On behalf of the Japanese American Veterans Association, we encourage the USPS to have a public ceremony.

“First and foremost, any public ceremony must recognize Mr. Wayne Osako, Mrs. Fusa Takahashi, Mrs. Aiko 0. King, and Mrs. Chiz Ohira, who are the Stamp Our Story Campaign’s founders. It was their singular leadership and dedicated commitment over these many years that inspired the community support resulting in the postmaster general approving the ‘Go For Broke’ stamp. Their efforts were supplemented by the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, Japanese American Citizens League chapters, and Japanese American Veterans Association.

“If a date and venue have yet to be selected, we suggest July 15, 2021, which will be the 75th anniversary when President Harry Truman reviewed the returning 442 Regimental Combat Team on the Ellipse of the White House. He decorated the 442nd RCT with its seventh Presidential Unit Citation during the July 15, 1946 ceremony.

“In his salute to this segregated all-Japanese American combat unit, President Truman honored all the Nisei soldiers who served in World War II by fighting America’s enemies abroad and winning their fight against prejudice at home. The president affirmed that the Nisei soldiers are loyal Americans.

“As for an appropriate venue, we suggest that the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in World War II, located at Louisiana Avenue and D Street NW, Washington, D.C., would be the appropriate venue for the public ceremony. This is a national monument, authorized by Congress, which has inscribed on its granite panels the names of the Nisei soldiers who died during World War II.

“Last November, JAVA held a virtual Veterans Day program in front of these names. JAVA is available to assist USPS in helping to promote any public ceremony that USPS decides to host.”

JAVA is requesting that other community organizations send letters supporting this proposal to the USPS.

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