There are many things to be thankful about and I would like to address a few in this column.
We want to wish Ed Horikawa a happy 99th birthday! The Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) was invited to attend his birthday party and our gift to Ed was a 100th/442nd Combat Service Identification badge. This is the same badge worn by many of today’s 100th soldiers on their dress blue uniform. Ed served in K Company, 442nd Regimental combat team during WWII.
Thanks to the Greatest Generation committee led by NVC Past Commander Keith Yamaguchi and his volunteers. The Greatest Generation project celebrates the accomplishments and honors the Issei and Nisei generations, and on Saturday, 17 August a memorial was dedicated to them at the NVC Memorial Hall. Thanks also to King County for the $1,500 4Culture grant that helped defray the cost of the project.
Thanks to the NVC Golf Tournament committee, led by two-time NVC Past Commander Bryan Takeuchi. Every year this annual golf tournament has brought members and friends from the community together for fun, a tasty meal, and a chance to win the coveted veteran’s trophy.
Thanks to the Cookout committee led by Denise Inaba, Lilly Tokita, and Geri Lynne Egeler, and the volunteers. This year the Cookout was back at the NVC Memorial Hall, and clearly another great time was had by all! King County provided a $2,500 veteran and family human services grant that went in part to the event. The remainder will be used at another veteran and family event in 2019.
Thanks to NVC Past Commander Alan Nakamoto for leading the group of volunteers at the 7th Annual Japanese Ground Self Defense Force and Joint Base Lewis-McChord Luncheon. I want to give some special credit to Dale Watanabe, who is a NVC Past Commander and the Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of the State of Washington, and to Carolyn Peterson, who is the Membership Program Manager and a jack of all trades. These two co-hosted and contributed incredible effort in making this another successful event! Thank you to Peter Kelley, President of the National Association of Japan-America Societies, and to Chris Rodeman, the Director of the Japan-U.S. Military Program and Research Fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, for making the long trip to attend our event.
Thanks to Major General Xavier Brunson, the Commanding General the 7th Infantry Division, to Colonel Hideki Onogi, Commanding Officer of the 25th Regiment of the JGSDF, and to all the soldiers. A Mahalo Nui Loa to Marc Knapper, Assistant Secretary for Korea & Japan, Department of State, for his keynote address. A shout out to the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA through the National Association of Japan-America Societies for both your grant and your continued support honoring the Nisei Veterans and strengthening the U.S./Japan relationship.
I am writing this article on the eve of 9-11. Many of us are old enough to remember the events of September 11, 2001 when the United State was attacked by terrorists. Not since December 7, 1941, has the United States been under direct attack by an adversary. On September 11, 2001, 2,977 people were killed, over 6,000 were injured, and today many are suffering from post-traumatic stress and fallout from the attack. The attacks were devastating to this nation and changed our world. It was a day in our history we will never forget.
We remember the victims on this 18th anniversary of 9-11. Our hearts are broken for their families and friends, but our hearts are also filled by the courage and commitment shown by those who responded to the incidents. Firefighters, law enforcement, military personnel, and ordinary civilians all became responders and heroes.
To commemorate the heroism shown on 9-11 and subsequently, we want to recognize veterans, first responders, and families who were affected by the attack. To do that, I asked each of you the following questions:
Where were you when you heard about the attacks?
What was your initial reaction or from your unit/team?
How did the news affect your work, life, military service?
Whether we heard about and watched the events of 9-11 on the news in 2001, or learned about them another way, we all came away with the message that this was a day that united our nation.
We are so thankful for those who serve at the ready, put their lives on the line as a “job" and pull together to help us get through times of devastation. I would like to thank our veterans from the global war on terror era, to thank all veterans who served, and to thank the public for their support.
So many of us have a personal story, experience or thoughts to share about 9-11 and the people who were affected. Please share some of those experience in a way you think best.
Lastly, I am forever grateful to be among veterans, family, and friends in the Nisei Veterans Committee and the community.
Go For Broke and Duty First!