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Hawaii: Exhibit honors Japanese American World War II soldiers

February 22, 2013|By Jay Jones | This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
  • The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Japanese American soldiers and inscribed with their motto, "Go For Broke," will form the core of an upcoming exhibit at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.
The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Japanese American soldiers and… (Hugh Talman / National Museum…)

The Japanese American soldiers who fought valiantly in World War II, even as many of their relatives were held in internment camps, will be remembered in an exhibition at Honolulu’s Bishop Museum.

“American Heroes: Japanese-American WWII Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal” will be on display March 9-April 14.

At the core of the exhibit, curated by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, is the actual medal, the nation’s highest civilian award. In 2011, it was bestowed collectively on the U.S. Army units made up almost exclusively of Nisei – Americans of Japanese descent – for their extraordinary accomplishments in both the European and Pacific theaters.

[For the Record, 2:15 p.m. Feb. 22: An earlier version of this post said the former Gov. John Burns will lead a panel discussion about the lengthy political battle he and others waged to bring recognition to U.S. soldiers of Japanese descent. Burns was instrumental in advocating for that recognition. Burns died in 1975.]

At 11:15 a.m. on opening day – Saturday, March 9 – a panel will discuss the lengthy political battle to bring recognition to U.S. soldiers of Japanese descent.

Other special programs – some featuring members of  Hawaii’s large Japanese American community - will be offered each Saturday.

More information  is available online  or by calling (808) 847-3511.

Admission is $19.95 for adults and $14.95 for children ages 4-12.

The traveling exhibit – with Southern California content added – will be at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles May 4 through June 9.

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