The 2011 Nisei Week Japanese Festival will include spotlighting the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor given by the US Congress, to the segregated Japanese American units of World War II.
The recognition will kick off at a community celebration on Sunday, August 14, from 2:15 to 2:45 pm at the JACCC Plaza, 244 South San Pedro Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
The public is encouraged to attend this important recognition event, which is the first Los Angeles tribute in recognition of this tremendous national award.
Following that, the Nisei veterans will be honored during the Nisei Week Grand Parade which begins at 5:30 pm and winds through First and Second Streets in Little Tokyo.
Senate Bill 1055, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in October 2010, calls upon the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the US Senate to award a congressional gold medal to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team (R.C.T.) and Military Intelligence Service.
Recognizing the advanced age of the recipients, efforts are being made to fast track an awards ceremony in Washington, DC, with the hope that it can be held in late fall 2011.
California Congressman Adam Schiff introduced the House version of the bill which recognized the service of the 100th Infantry and 442nd R.C.T., stating that he could not imagine a group more deserving of this highest Congressional honor.
California Senator Barbara Boxer introduced the Senate version which added recognition of the Military Intelligence Service.
The annual Nisei Week Festival, which is observing its 71st anniversary, will be held from August 13-21. For more information, go to www.niseiweek.org.