Ceremony in France Commemorates Nisei WWII Veterans

October 21, 2019, 4:07 PM HST · Updated October 21, 4:07 PM
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Soldiers of the US Armyʻs storied 442nd Regimental Combat Team was recognized in a ceremony in France over the weekend on the 75th anniversary of some of their most notable feats.

In October 1944, the 442nd RCT liberated three towns in Eastern France from the German government. Then, in the famous “Rescue of the Lost Battalion,” the soldiers fought through German forces to save nearly 300 Texas comrades.

The 442nd, whose motto was “Go for Broke,” went on to become the most decorated unit in American history, earning its members and other Nisei WWII veterans the Congressional Gold Medal in 2010. 

US Congressman Ed Case represented Congress at the event and offered the following remarks:

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“In many ways they were just like any other American GI. But they were different, for they were mostly Japanese, mostly Nisei, second-generation Americans, their parents born in Japan and immigrants to America in search of a better life.

They were loyal Americans. But after Pearl Harbor their own country had questioned their loyalty. Refused them entry into the military. Seized their property, interned them and their families and friends in camps. 

It was one of the worst travesties by Americans against Americans in our history.

Yet despite all that they suffered they wanted nothing more than to fight. To defend our country and our values. To prove their loyalty once and for all.”

Caseʻs wife Audrey accompanied him at the ceremony and honored her uncles, Private First-Class Yoshio (Michael) Hirata and Private First Class Sadao Hikida, who both served in the 100th/442nd. 

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