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NVC Foundation President's Column

by David Fukuhara
October 2020, Volume 70, Issue 9

It’s amazing that we are already into October, well into the Autumn season.  It’s getting cooler and time for us to break out the heavier jackets and clothes.

It was under these weather conditions, during the month of October in 1944, that the Nisei Veterans of the 100th Battalion and 442nd Combat Team fought some of their most difficult and notorious battles in Europe against the German army of Adolf Hitler.

In the difficult terrain of the Vosges (pronounced “vohzh”) Mountains, the Nisei soldiers experienced heavy fighting while liberating the towns of Bruyeres, Belmont, Biffontaine and Fremifontaine.

Then while looking forward to a period of rest, the Nisei soldiers were immediately dispatched to rescue the 1st Battalion of the 141st Infantry who were surrounded by German forces in the Vosges region.  After multiple failed attempts by other Battalions, the 442nd soldiers made a final rescue attempt.

In five days of battle, from October 26 – 30, 1944, the 442nd broke through the German defenses and rescued 211 soldiers from Texas, later to be known as the Lost Battalion.  In executing this rescue, the Nisei soldiers sustained over 800 casualties.  For example, “I” Company went in with 185 men and only 8 came out unhurt.  “K” Company went in with 186 men and 169 were either wounded or killed. 

Many of the original founders of the NVC fought in these battles and survived to return home.  Yet their circumstances were different from most American soldiers, their families were incarcerated in American concentration camps and prisons as they fought for this Country.  Such a heavy price to pay, yet they brought such unequivocal security and freedom to our Community and our Nation.

I hope you have all taken full advantage of the freedom of lifestyles we are afforded by living in this Country.  I certainly have.  The freedom to stretch my life in terms of entertainment, education, career, sports, travel, protest, human rights, equal rights, diversity of opinion and principle.

Which brings me to the major issue at hand today.  Our Nation is facing an election of epic proportions, with candidates presenting as stark a contrast as ever before.  So now is the time to fully exercise your right and freedom to VOTE in the upcoming election.

As an adult in our society today, you have experienced that this election goes beyond who fills what positions in our government – it will determine what type of society we want to live in and how we will interact with each other across different cultures and communities for years to come.

We each know what kind of society we want for our families and ourselves.  So do not allow inconvenience, obstacles, or outright suppression, prevent you from exercising your basic right to VOTE, let’s make it a priority to cast your ballot on November 3rd