Japanese-American veterans to be honored during 75th commemoration

| December 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

75th Commemoration of Pearl Harbor
News Release

HONOLULU — Veterans of four military units comprised primarily of Americans of Japanese ancestry (AJAs) will be honored in this year’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Oahu that thrust the United States into World War II.

75th Commemoration Photo

75th Pearl Harbor Commemo-ration Photo

“Fighting Two Wars: A Tribute to AJA Veterans” will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center as part of a variety of educational and memorial events scheduled for the dates of Dec. 1-11.

The luncheon will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5th, and will be attended by many of the remaining AJA veterans of the war and members of their families. The tribute luncheon will include addresses by Hawai’i Governor David Ige and former Governor George Ariyoshi.

Honored guests are the AJAs who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, Military Intelligence Service, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 1399th Engineer Construction Bn. The Soldiers who fought in those units answered post-Pearl Harbor suspicion and bigotry with unsurpassed service.

These units were among the most honored of all American military groups during the war. Hundreds of their Soldiers received medals of valor, including more than 20 who were awarded the nation’s highest tribute, the Medal of Honor.

Central Pacific Bank, which was formed after the war by AJA veterans, will be the primary sponsor of the luncheon, but donations have also been received from a variety of other individuals and organizations who want to recognize these Soldiers.

Brian R. Melanephy, 9th Mission Support Command Public Affairs HONOLULU — The color guard of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Division, come to attention for the singing of the national anthem at the state capitol for Gov. David Ige's inauguration ceremony, Monday. Normally a function of the Hawaii Army National Guard, Ige personally requested the 100th — the only infantry battalion in the U.S. Army Reserve — because his father served in the historic battalion. The unit has Soldiers in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan.

HONOLULU — The color guard of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Division, come to attention for the singing of the national anthem at the state capitol for Gov. David Ige’s inauguration ceremony. Ige personally requested the 100th — the only infantry battalion in the U.S. Army Reserve — because his father served in the historic battalion. The unit has Soldiers in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan. (Photo by Brian R. Melanephy, 9th Mission Support Command Public Affairs)

At the time of the attack, Hawai’i’s population was only about 425,000 people, with Japanese comprising the largest ethnic group. Most were citizens by birth, but Japan’s attack made them objects of fear and suspicion. They answered by volunteering for the Army in record numbers and earning an unsurpassed record of service and sacrifice.

More than 500 of the AJA Soldiers from Hawai’i died in combat during the war, almost twice as many as all other Hawaii ethnic groups combined.

Upon their return to the islands after the war, many of the AJA veterans helped to change Hawaii and win its acceptance as the 50th state in 1959. They included U.S. Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga, as well as many others.

Themed, “Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future,” the 11 days of unprecedented events and ceremonies will pay tribute to those who lost their lives, the survivors who endured hardship and pain, and to the thousands who fought in World War II.

The last of the survivors who experienced that emotional awakening will be on O’ahu for the 75th Commemoration.

 

• Tickets

While most of the seating has already been reserved for the luncheon, there is still room for individuals and organizations that wish to attend. Tickets can be purchased online at PearlHarbor75thAnniversary.com.

Veterans of the units may contact their respective veteran clubs. World War II veterans and one companion can attend the luncheon at no cost; another three family members may attend for a low price of $75 each, with additional family members at $125 each.

Tickets for the general public are available at $200, with tables of 10 available for purchase.

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Category: Leadership, News, Observances, Special, Veterans, Wounded Warriors

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