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National Veterans Network Celebrates 10th Anniversary of WWII Nisei Soldiers Congressional Gold Medal Award

October 2021, Volume 71, Issue 9

Washington D.C., Oct. 13, 2021 – On November 2, 2021, the National Veterans Network (NVN) will commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the historic day the Congressional Gold Medal was bestowed to Japanese American World War II veterans of the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service by the United States Congress in Washington D.C.  

A 30-minute virtual event will take place on November 2, 2021, at 8:00pm EDT / 5:00pm PDT / 2:00pm Hawaii that highlights the two-year journey of the nationwide effort of 23 WWII veteran organizations and nonprofits to secure the Nisei Soldier Congressional Gold Medal that culminated with the historic Ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. The virtual event will feature interviews from the principals of the national effort including bill sponsors Congressman Adam Schiff, Senator Barbara Boxer, United States Mint, Smithsonian Institution, WWII veterans, national leaders, and principals representing organizations actively involved in the passage and celebration of the Congressional Gold Medal.

“The awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal was the result of a unified national effort that brought together 23 organizations nationwide with a collective goal to honor the Japanese American WWII soldiers in recognition of their extraordinary service,” shared Christine Sato-Yamazaki executive director of the National Veterans Network. “We invite WWII veterans, veteran families and friends to learn about the Congressional Gold Medal journey in remembrance of their parents, grandparents and uncles on this historic day that brought the long-awaited recognition to the Nisei veterans.”

The Congressional Gold Medal is United States Congress's highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions by individuals or institutions. 173 recipients have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal since its inception and its first recipient, George Washington, in 1776. H.R. 347 passed the House of Representatives on May 14, 2009. Senate bill 1055 was passed on August 2, 2010 and signed into public law 111-254 by President Barak Obama on October 5, 2010. The historic ceremony at the U.S. Capitol took place on November 2, 2011.

The NVN thanks the Aratani Foundation, Charles and Helen Moriyama and the JA Community Foundation for sponsoring this Anniversary event.

To RSVP with instructions to access the event, please email NVN at info@nationalveteransnetwork.com. Event information will be made available on the NVN website at www.nationalveteransnetwork.com in late October.

About National Veterans Network (NVN)

NVN’s mission is to educate current and future generations about the extraordinary legacy of American WWII soldiers of Japanese ancestry in order to promote equality and justice. The organization launched the campaign to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the first Asian American recipients in the 100th, 442nd and MIS units, and worked with the U.S. Mint to design the medal. In 2012, the organization partnered with the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service for a seven-city tour to promote recognition of the Japanese American experience. In 2016, along with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, NVN launched an online Digital Exhibition to share the story of Japanese American soldiers of WWII (cgm.smithsonianapa.org). Beginning in 2017, NVN worked with the National Museum of the U.S. Army to gather artifacts from Japanese American WWII soldiers and their families that resulted in a special exhibit dedicated to Japanese American WWII soldiers when the Museum’s opening in 2020 along with artifacts and information located throughout the museum. In 2020, the NVN in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, developed elementary and middle school curriculum. The NVN continues to honor the American WWII soldiers of Japanese ancestry by promoting, protecting, and preserving their legacy of uncommon valor and selfless service for future generations.

Please visit us at www.nationalveteransnetwork.com, and follow the NVN on Facebook (NationalVeteransNetwork), Twitter (@NtlVetNetwork) or Instagram (nationalveteransnetwork).