Hawaii Students Visiting American Heroes Exhibit at Bishop Museum

American Heroes

Students from Hawaii Schools who will be visiting the American Heroes:  World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal exhibit at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum on April 10, 11 and 14, and will get to experience a piece of “living history” when they meet with WWII Nisei soldiers as part of their field trip, as follows:

SCHOOL VISITS WITH WWII NISEI VETERANS AT CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL EXHIBIT
LOCATION:  BISHOP MUSEUM, CASTLE MEMORIAL BUILDING

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Kaimuki Middle School
Session 1:  9:00-9:15 a.m.
Session 2:  9:30-9:45 a.m.
Session 3:  10:00-10:15 a.m.
Session 4:  10:30-10:45 a.m.
Session 5:  11:00-11:15 a.m.
Session 6:  11:30-11:45 a.m.

Thursday, April 11, 2013
Castle High School
Session 1:  10:30-10:45 a.m.
Session 2:  11:00-11:15 a.m.

Sunday, April 14, 2013 – FINAL DAY OF EXHIBIT
Kamakahelei Middle School (Big Island)

Date:  Sunday, 4/14/13:
Session 1:  9-9:15 a.m.
Session 2:  9:15-9:30 a.m

Herbert Yanamura, was born on 4/20/1924 in Honaunau, Kona, Hawaii

Herbert Yanamura, was born on 4/20/1924 in Honaunau, Kona, Hawaii

“We wanted to make the exhibit come alive for these students,” said Mona Wood-Sword, member of the organizing committee.  “Meeting these true American heroes, talking story with them, will make the exhibit that much more meaningful for them, and that was part of our mission when planning the exhibit:  To teach the next generation about the heroism of these brave soldiers.”

The teachers from the visiting schools have asked their students to prepare questions for the veterans, so the discussions should be lively and interesting for both the veterans and students.

In addition to speaking with the visiting schools, the veterans have been busy with weekly panel discussions (see attached schedule) and other appearances.  WWII veterans from the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service – all honored with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal – have shared their stories to standing-room-only audiences at Bishop Museum’s Atherton Halau.

The final two Saturday panels will be, as follows:

April 6, 2013 • 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Hawaii’s Internment and Role in the Legislative Campaign for Redress
Presented by:  Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
Panelists:  Ryan Kawamoto, “The Untold Story,” Brian Niiya, Former JCCH Program Director, and William Kaneko, Attorney and Former President, Honolulu JACL
Moderator:  Carole Hayashino, President and Executive Director, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii

April 6, 2013 • 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
“Okage Sama De” True Stories of Japanese Americans during WWII
Presented by:  Alton Chung, Professional Storyteller

April 13, 2013 • 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Commitment to Education
Presented by:  State of Hawaii Department of Education
Panelists:  Joan Funamura, Clayton Kaninau, May Price, and Charlotte Unni
Moderator:  Ann Mahi

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
American Heroes:  World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal was developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in collaboration with the National Veterans Network, and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.  Accompanying educational materials were developed by the National Veterans Network in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

The national tour of seven cities – New Orleans, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, OR, Chicago, and Houston – is made possible by the support of AARP, Cole Chemical, Comcast/NBC Universal, the Japanese American Veterans Association, Pritzker Military Library, the Shiratsuki Family, and Southwest Airlines.

ABOUT THE 100th INFANTRY BATTALION
The 100th Infantry Battalion was a unit within the U.S. Army’s 34th Infantry Division.  Compromised mostly of Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJA) from the Hawaii Army National Guard, the 100th Infantry Battalion also included volunteers from Japanese internment camps, which were then located throughout the United States during WWII.

Battalion members’ stature, fitness levels, and unified camaraderie during training, prior to their deployment, made the 100th Infantry Battalion a strong unit heading into combat.  With the “Remember Pearl Harbor” motto, the 100th Infantry Battalion were consistently motivated to prove their loyalty to the United States.

During their 20 month combat term in Europe, the unit became known as the “Purple Heart Battalion” for the number of casualties lost.  They fought in six war campaigns in Italy and France, earning the unit four Presidential Unit Citations.  http://www.100thbattalion.org/

ABOUT THE 442ND REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
Considered to be one of the most decorated combat units in United States military history, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team consisted of a share of enlisted soldiers, as well as volunteers who fought in Europe during WWII.  Two-thirds of their original unit were Americans of Japanese Ancestry, or Nisei, from Hawaii, while the rest were Nisei soldiers from the Mainland.

The “Go For Broke” motto means to risk everything in order to win.  Activated under the command of Colonel Charles W. Pence, the 442nd worked closely with the 100th Infantry Battalion.  Intelligent and zealous in learning their military duties, the 442nd understood patience and the importance of strategy while in combat situations.  Over 14,000 men served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  Their values of service, loyalty and sacrifice earned the unit over 9,000 Purple Hearts, eight Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, and 560 Silver Stars.  http://www.the442.org/

ABOUT THE MILITARY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
The Military Intelligence Service, or MIS, was a group of smaller units consisting of Nisei soldiers during WWII.  Their average unit size was between 10-20 men.  Playing a vital role in the U.S. military tactics during WWII, the MIS units used linguistic skills to gather intelligence, read captured enemy maps and documents, and conduct translations and interrogations.  MIS unit members were at heightened risk because they could be confused for enemy troops by their own U.S. military personnel.

MIS post-war work proved crucial for the transition during Japanese occupancy.  MIS servicemen provided indispensible assistance during Japanese war crime trials, in the repatriation of Japanese prisoners of war (POWs), and in establishing positive relations between U.S. military forces and Japanese civilians.  Working under mostly classified orders, the MIS units did not receive the recognition other units and battalions had during and post war.

ABOUT BISHOP MUSEUM
The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his wife Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of King Kamehameha I.  Today, the Museum is recognized as the principal museum of the Pacific, housing the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts and natural history specimens.  More than 350,000 people visit the Museum each year, including over 40,000 schoolchildren.  For more information, please call (808) 847-3511 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org.

American Heroes to Feature Former Governors George Aiyoshi & Ben Cayetano, Retired Chief Judge James Burns, and Brendan Burns

The highly-awaited Congressional Gold Medal exhibit opening next month at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum honors the WWII Nisei Soldiers in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service.

American Heroes

The exhibit will be on view from March 9 through April 14, 2013, in the Castle Memorial Building, and special panel discussions will be taking place each weekend throughout the exhibit’s run, in Bishop Museum’s Atherton Halau.

On opening day, March 9th, at 11:15 a.m., a special 90-minute panel discussion entitled, “After WWII-Hawaii’s Political War,” will feature former Governors George Ariyoshi and Ben Cayetano, retired Chief Judge James Burns, and Aina Haina Elementary School Principal Brendan Burns.  Dan Boylan will serve as the panel moderator.

Then Lt. Governor George Ariyoshi with Governor John Burns

Then Lt. Governor George Ariyoshi with Governor John Burns

“We hope to share varying perspectives on the political and social discrimination suffered by people of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii prior to, during, and after WWII, relevant events that occurred during WWII, the successful post-WWII political revolution, organized and led by former Governor John A. Burns and the Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJAs), and the positive changes resulting from that successful revolution,” explains Judge Burns, youngest son of the former Governor.

Retired Chief Judge James Burns

Retired Chief Judge James Burns

In addition, the panel will discuss the leadership skills of Governor Burns and the AJAs, and the importance of having current and future leaders with those qualities.

The public is invited to view the exhibit and to attend the panel discussion.  Prior to the conclusion of the discussion, the panelists will respond to questions from the audience.  Admission to Bishop Museum is free on March 9th, only, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

A private opening ceremony will be held on the Great Lawn on March 9th, at 10 a.m.

Nissei Schedule

Schedule of Events (Click to Enlarge)

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
American Heroes:  World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal was developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in collaboration with the National Veterans Network, and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.  Accompanying educational materials were developed by the National Veterans Network in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

The national tour of seven cities – New Orleans, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, OR, Chicago, and Houston – is made possible by the support of AARP, Cole Chemical, Comcast/NBC Universal, the Japanese American Veterans Association, Pritzker Military Library, the Shiratsuki Family, and Southwest Airlines.

ABOUT THE 100th INFANTRY BATTALION
The 100th Infantry Battalion was a unit within the U.S. Army’s 34th Infantry Division.  Compromised mostly of Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJA) from the Hawaii Army National Guard, the 100th Infantry Battalion also included volunteers from Japanese internment camps, which were then located throughout the United States during WWII.

Battalion members’ stature, fitness levels, and unified camaraderie during training, prior to their deployment, made the 100th Infantry Battalion a strong unit heading into combat.  With the “Remember Pearl Harbor” motto, the 100th Infantry Battalion were consistently motivated to prove their loyalty to the United States.

During their 20 month combat term in Europe, the unit became known as the “Purple Heart Battalion” for the number of casualties lost.  They fought in six war campaigns in Italy and France, earning the unit four Presidential Unit Citations.  http://www.100thbattalion.org/

ABOUT THE 442ND REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
Considered to be one of the most decorated combat units in United States military history, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team consisted of a share of enlisted soldiers, as well as volunteers who fought in Europe during WWII.  Two-thirds of their original unit were Americans of Japanese Ancestry, or Nisei, from Hawaii, while the rest were Nisei soldiers from the Mainland.

The “Go For Broke” motto means to risk everything in order to win.  Activated under the command of Colonel Charles W. Pence, the 442nd worked closely with the 100th Infantry Battalion.  Intelligent and zealous in learning their military duties, the 442nd understood patience and the importance of strategy while in combat situations.  Over 14,000 men served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  Their values of service, loyalty and sacrifice earned the unit over 9,000 Purple Hearts, eight Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, and 560 Silver Stars.  http://www.the442.org/

ABOUT THE MILITARY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
The Military Intelligence Service, or MIS, was a group of smaller units consisting of Nisei soldiers during WWII.  Their average unit size was between 10-20 men.  Playing a vital role in the U.S. military tactics during WWII, the MIS units used linguistic skills to gather intelligence, read captured enemy maps and documents, and conduct translations and interrogations.  MIS unit members were at heightened risk because they could be confused for enemy troops by their own U.S. military personnel.

MIS post-war work proved crucial for the transition during Japanese occupancy.  MIS servicemen provided indispensible assistance during Japanese war crime trials, in the repatriation of Japanese prisoners of war (POWs), and in establishing positive relations between U.S. military forces and Japanese civilians.  Working under mostly classified orders, the MIS units did not receive the recognition other units and battalions had during and post war.

ABOUT BISHOP MUSEUM
The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his wife Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of King Kamehameha I.  Today, the Museum is recognized as the principal museum of the Pacific, housing the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts and natural history specimens.  More than 350,000 people visit the Museum each year, including over 40,000 schoolchildren.  For more information, please call (808) 847-3511 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org.

Please direct all media inquiries to Mona Wood-Sword or Brooke Wilson, per above.

 

Exhibit Honors American Heroes: Japanese-American WWII Nisei Solders & Congressional Gold Medal

The Japanese-American WWII Nisei soldiers from the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) will be honored in an exhibit of the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM), touring seven U.S. cities this year, as follows:

  • National World War II Museum, New Orleans, LA:  January 12 – February 17, 2013
  • Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI:  March 9 – April 14, 2013
  • Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA:  May 4 – June 9, 2013
  • De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA:  June 29 – August 4, 2013
  • Oregon Historical Society, Portland, OR:  August 24 – September 29, 2013
  • Chicago History Museum, Chicago, IL – October 19 – December 8, 2013
  • Houston Holocaust Museum, Houston, TX – December 21, 2013 – January 24, 2014

American Heroes

During its 6-week visit to Honolulu, March 9-April 14, Bishop Museum’s Castle Memorial Building will be the home of the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM).  In addition to the Medal, exhibits from the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, and other related organizations will also be on display.  Two iPads programmed with CGM information from the National WWII Museum will also be part of the exhibit.  In addition, exciting weekly panel discussions and film and documentary screenings will also be presented throughout this exciting and historic engagement.

A private, invitation-only VIP breakfast reception and ceremony will precede the official opening of the exhibit on Saturday, March 9th.  The public is invited to tour the CGM exhibit, as well as other exhibits at Bishop Museum, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., that day, for free.  (NOTE:  More information on the panel discussions and other activities during the CGM exhibit will be provided in our next release.)

The National Veterans Network (www.nationalveteransnetwork.com), the organizer of the national tour of the Congressional Gold Medal, has also created a curriculum for teachers to use in class, to give their students a deeper understanding of the units the Medal is honoring, as an important part of our history.

The Congressional Gold Medal is a tribute to the thousands of Japanese-Americans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, commonly known as the “Go For Broke” regiments, and the Military Intelligence Service (or MIS) who dedicated their lives with honor and loyalty to the United States during WWII.

After the Pearl Harbor bombing in 1941, Americans of Japanese ancestry became victims of discrimination and negative stereotypes, and over 120,000 Japanese and Japanese-American citizens were held in internment camps throughout the United States.  Despite the many challenges they – and their families at home – faced, the soldiers in these units were among the most highly decorated in U.S. military history.  More than 4,000 Purple Hearts, 560 Silver Stars, 7 Presidential Units Citations, and 21 Medals of Honor were awarded to members of the GO FOR BROKE regiment.

Partnering to share these inspiring stories of valor and sacrifice are Bishop Museum, the National Veterans Network, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The Congressional Gold Medal commemorative event is designed to celebrate these citizens and soldiers, and also to educate today’s youth who may have little recognition or understanding about these heroes.