This article was reprinted courtesy of the Japanese American Veterans Association.
On July 15, 2021, at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) marked the 75th anniversary of President Truman’s affirmation that all the Japanese American soldiers, men and women, who served during World War II are America’s heroes. On July 15, 1946, President Harry S. Truman saluted returning Japanese American soldiers, on the White House Ellipse, by stating that “You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice – and you have won. Keep up that fight, and we will continue to win…” removing any doubt that they are loyal citizens of the United States of America.
The ceremonial wreath incorporated the image of the Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers of World War II Commemorative Stamp. The military escort for the wreath was LT Caitlin Takahashi-Pipkin, who is a granddaughter of Kazuo Takahashi, who served in the Military Intelligence Service, and Fusa Takahashi, who is one of the original co-founders of the Stamp Our Story Campaign. One of the two wreath bearers was Tyler Franklin, who is a grandson of Kazuo and Fusa Takahashi. The other wreath bearer was Michelle Amano, who is the granddaughter of Mike Masaoka, whose advocacy work with the government allowed Japanese Americans to serve again in the U.S. military and resulted in the creation, in 1943, of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
To view JAVA’s Day of Affirmation ceremony, visit JAVA’s website at JAVA-US.org.