ALAMEDA, CA--(Marketwire -10/20/11)- The legacy of Nisei veterans during World War II takes center stage in a special exhibit onboard the USS Hornet Museum as part of a special tribute to the contributions of these second generation Japanese Americans.
The exhibit takes on added significance because the U.S. Congress will award the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian honor, on Nov. 2, 2011 to the veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service. Both the battalion and combat team were made up mostly of Japanese Americans who fought in Europe, becoming the most decorated unit in U.S. Army history for its size and length of service. The Military Intelligence Service took part in all major Pacific campaigns, playing a key role in defeating Japan. The ceremony will take place at the Capitol in Washington, DC. A total of 1,250 Nisei veterans or their family member will receive a replica of the Congressional Gold Medal.
"The awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal is a well-deserved honor to remember the sacrifices made by these veterans," said Randall Ramian, CEO of The USS Hornet Museum. "We are extremely proud our Japanese American veteran exhibit reflects the bravery and dedication of these extraordinary individuals."
"To our knowledge, it is the only exhibit of its kind in California and probably in the United States," said Lawson Sakai, president of the Bay Area Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans and a veteran of 442nd Regimental Combat Team. "The exhibit onboard the Hornet focuses on Nisei veterans and their service to this country."
The Nisei fought for this country while their parents, family members and friends were imprisoned in relocation camps throughout the United States during World War II.
On Oct. 5, 2010, President Barack Obama signed a bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Nisei Veterans.
The exhibit is open to Hornet Museum visitors without requiring special tours or access. For more information about the Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans, please visit www.ffnv.org.
About the USS Hornet Museum:
The USS Hornet Museum is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring people of all ages to experience the legacy of naval history, science, and space technology. A registered state and national historic landmark, the ship is permanently berthed at 707 W. Hornet Avenue, Pier 3 in Alameda, CA. The ship is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular museum admission is $6-$15 for youths through adults and there is ample free parking across from the pier. For more information, visit www.uss-hornet.org or call (510) 521-8448.