Florida’s Congressman John Rutherford (R-Jacksonville), and Japan’s Consul-General Hiroto Hirakoba of Denver have joined the fight for a commemorative postage stamp to remember the patriotism of Japanese Americans who served in the Armed Forces during World War II.
“I write to urge you to issue a United States commemorative postage stamp that would honor the brave sacrifices of the Japanese Americans who served our nation during World War II,” Rep. Rutherford wrote in a July 5, 2017 letter to the Postmaster General Megan Brennan. “We as a nation must never forget the courage of those who have helped protect our freedoms.”
The Republican is the first member of Congress from Florida to step forward in support of this effort, which began in California in 2005. The campaign has garnered 58 bipartisan members of Congress from across the nation since last year, as well as three state governors.
Despite being wartime enemies, two of Japan’s Consul-Generals have spoken out in support of this postal honor as well. First was Consul-General Jun Yamada (San Francisco). Most recently, Consul-General Hiroto Hirakoba (Denver) wrote a letter backing the stamp. “The patriotic action of Japanese Americans who served for the US military during World War II was an important chapter in the history of relations between Japan and the United States,” Mr. Hirakoba wrote in his July 18, 2017 letter to Postmaster General Brennan. “We hope that patriotic action would be more widely known through issuing this commemorative postage stamp.”
Postmaster General Brennan is considering a proposal this year which would feature the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in Washington, DC. This Memorial highlights the service of the Japanese Americans who served with distinction despite the internment camps of the war. Over 120,000 were incarcerated in such camps due to war hysteria, racism, and prejudice against Americans of Japanese heritage during the World War II era.
Over 30,000 Japanese Americans enlisted in US Army during the war. Most served in the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team, and in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). Women served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) and Cadet Nurse Corps. The 100th/442nd is considered the most decorate unit of the war, and one of the most highly decorated in US history.
A grassroots movement of support has swelled up around an honor for to remember the patriotism of these men and women through a commemorative postage stamp. For more information, go to the campaign’s website at www.StampOurStory.org.