The Oregon Historical Society will play virtual host to an event celebrating the release of a U.S. Postal Service stamp honoring the American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who served during World War II.
The event, titled "Go For Broke Soldiers: Japanese American Soldiers of WWII," will include former Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and four generations of the descendants of the soldiers, known as Nisei.
"Our Japanese American World War II veterans fought for democracy while their own families were incarcerated in concentration camps on American soil," Kulongoski said. "They believed in America. We salute them. And we will not forget."
Asian American actors will portray stories of military service. David Loftus will read an excerpt from Harold Okimoto's diary, the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion; Alton Chung will present former U.S. Rep. Al Ullman's tribute to Frank Hachiya of the Military Intelligence Service; and Ken Yoshikawa will read a letter to the Hillsboro Argus from Art Iwasaki of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Musical tributes will be given by the Minidoka Swing Band, Portland Taiko and the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble.
"This unique commemoration recognizes and reminds us of the legacy achieved by Nisei veterans of WWII," said Doug Katagiri, son of linguist George Katagiri, veteran of the Military Intelligence Service. "It's impossible to overstate their sacrifices in building this legacy, fighting a war abroad while enduring racism and an extraordinary episode of national injustice at home."
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