09.24.08

Schiff Works to Honor Japanese-American World War II Veterans

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

Schiff Works to Honor Japanese-American World War II Veterans

Schiff introduces bill to pay tribute to “Go for Broke” regiments on the same day he secures funding for a museum in their honor

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff introduced legislation to pay tribute to the Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, commonly known as the “Go For Broke” regiments, for their dedicated service to our nation during World War II, by awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal.  The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress’s highest civilian honor.  Today the House also passed the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 2638) which included $4 million requested by Rep. Schiff for the construction of the Go For Broke National Education Center in Los Angles.

“These men served with pride, courage and conviction, waging a war on two fronts – abroad against a forceful and oppressive fascism, and at home against the intolerance of racial injustice,” said Schiff.  “At a time when they could have easily turned their backs on a country which had seemingly turned its back on them, these men chose the nobler, bolder, and more difficult route.  It is long past due that Congress recognize their heroic efforts with Congress’s most prestigious award.”

The Go For Broke regiments earned several awards for their distinctive service in combat, including: 7 Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 22 Legion of Merit Medals, 15 Soldier’s Medals, and nearly 10,000 Purple Hearts, among numerous additional distinctions. For their size and length of service, the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team were the most decorated U.S. military units of the war. However, these regiments have yet to be honored with a Congressional Gold Medal.

The funding secured by Rep. Schiff will help construct the Go For Broke National Education Center. Currently, Go For Broke veterans are the docents at a monument in Los Angeles in their honor.  As docents, they tell their story of service and sacrifice to the thousands of school children and general public visitors to the Go For Broke Monument.

“The Go For Broke National Education Center will ensure that these servicemen are never forgotten,” said Schiff. “This museum will immortalize their bravery and patriotism and continue to teach future generations their great story.” 

The Go For Broke National Education Center will serve the roughly 16,000 Go For Broke veterans and their families by documenting their oral histories, by providing volunteer veterans at the Go For Broke Monument in Los Angeles, and by conducting teacher training so this history can properly make its way into classrooms and teachers’ lesson plans.