DC -- Natl Museum of American History -- Exhibit: American Heroes (Nisei medalion):
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Description of Pictures: American Heroes
February 19, 2014 – June 2, 2014
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, President Roosevelt issued an executive order which resulted in the removal and imprisonment of over 110,000 ethnic Japanese in camps through the western U.S. Almost two-thirds of those incarcerated were U.S. citizens of Japanese descent. In spite of this forced incarceration and rampant wartime prejudice, more than 33,000 second-generation Japanese Americans (nisei) volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II.
More than 65 years after the end of the war, Congress officially recognized the heroic wartime contributions of these units in the face of official injustice and wide-spread harassment. In 2010 a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award in the United States and has been awarded to distinguished Americans.
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks including AI scrapers can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
NISEI_140325_04.JPG: Congressional Gold Medal presented collectively to the US Army's 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service -- the Nisei soldiers of World War II.
NISEI_140325_18.JPG: American Heroes:
On November 2, 2011, this Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian award, was presented collectively to the US Army's 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service -- the Nisei soldiers of World War II. It was bestowed in recognition of their dedicated service, extraordinary accomplishments, and sacrifice during the war. Nisei -- "second generation" -- are children of Japanese immigrants, born and educated in America.
The men in these units, almost entirely of Japanese ancestry, from both Hawaii and the US mainland, fought with uncommon bravery and valor against our nation's enemies on the battlefields in Europe and Asia, even as many of their parents and family members were held in American internment camps. Their record demonstrates an abiding faith in the American dream and provides an indelible testimonial to the meaning of American patriotism.
NISEI_140325_22.JPG: Japanese Americans and World War II:
In the opening months of 1942, almost 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them US citizens, were forced out of their homes and into hastily built camps established by the US government in the interior of the United States. Many spent the next three years living under armed guard, behind barbed wire.
During this time, racial prejudice and fear upset the delicate balance between citizens' rights and the power of the state. Japanese Americans suffered a great injustice at the hands of the government and have struggled ever since to ensure the rights guaranteed them by the US Constitution.
Japanese Americans in the Military:
About 33,000 Japanese Americans, many coming out of the camps and many coming from Hawaii, served in US military units during World War II. The valor of these Americans, many with family and friends living behind barbed wire, was extraordinary. Their combat record aided the postwar acceptance of Japanese Americans in American society and helped many people to realize the injustice of wartime internment.
In 2011 Congress and the American people recognized the men and women of these units -- the 100th Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Japanese American members of the Military Intelligence Service -- with the presentation of this medal.
NISEI_140325_26.JPG: The Congressional Gold Medal:
The medal was designed and struck by the US Mint. The front, designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Charles L Vickers, features Nisei soldiers from both the European and Pacific theaters. The color guard of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team is depicted in the lower field. Inscriptions are NISEI SOLDIERS OF WORLD WAR II and GO FOR BROKE. The latter, the motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, eventually described the work of all three units.
The reverse, designed and sculpted by Don Everhart, depicts the insignias of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service. The inscriptions are: 100th INF BN, MILITARY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, and 442nd RCT. A ribbon at the base includes ACT OF CONGRESS 2010. The dates 1941-1946 appear in the upper right field.
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2014 photos: Equipment this year: I mostly used my Fuji XS-1 camera but, depending on the event, I also used a Nikon D7000.
Trips this year:
three Civil War Trust conferences (Winchester, VA, Nashville, TN, and Atlanta, GA),
Michigan to visit mom in the hospice before she died and then a return trip after she died, and
my 9th consecutive San Diego Comic-Con trip (including Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City, Sacramento, Oakland, and Los Angeles).
Ego strokes: Paul Dickson used one of my photos as the author photo in his book "Aphorisms: Words Wrought by Writers".
Number of photos taken this year: just over 470,000.
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