Two of the past three years I’ve written a diary on the Day of Remembrance. I grew up in the area in and around San Jose, California so I’m familiar with its history. Last year, I wrote a diary about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
On November 6th, the remaining members of the 442nd received the Congressional Gold Medal. Here is the statement from the National Veterans Network,
The Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian award, was bestowed, collectively, on the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service for their extraordinary accomplishments in World War II. The men in these units, comprised almost entirely of persons of Japanese ancestry, fought with uncommon bravery and valor against our nation’s enemies on the battlefields in Europe and Asia, even while many of their parents and kin were held in internment camps. Their record demonstrates an abiding faith in the American dream, and provides an indelible testimonial to the meaning of American patriotism.
These men, all U.S. citizens, could easily have been bitter towards our nation for interning their families, but instead wanted to prove their loyalty. They fought hard and faithfully, and became the mostly highly decorated regiment in Army history. 9,486 of 13,000 soldiers received the Purple heart.
This award was a long time coming, and well deserved. Stories like this and so many others prove that it is and always will be our unity in ethic diversity and willingness to overcome adversity that makes us the greatest nation on earth.