Invites Public to Hear Stories of Japanese American WWII Veterans and To Share Their Own Unique American Story
(PRUnderground) May 6th, 2021
The National Veterans Network (NVN) invites the public to share their story for its #IAmAmerican social media campaign. The NVN strives to educate current and future generations about the extraordinary legacy of American WWII soldiers of Japanese ancestry in order to promote equality and justice. These stories of uncommon valor and selfless service, despite prejudice and racism, is a story of equality and justice.
Given the racial climate of 2021, including #StopAsianHate, it has never been timelier to share and learn about the inspirational accounts of Americans soldiers of Japanese ancestry who served in the segregated unit of U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service during World War II. Nearly 33,000 young men and women made a decision to fight for the United States of America, at a time when they were looked upon with suspicion and discriminated against based solely on their race and ancestry. Despite this, when called to serve, thousands enlisted from Hawaii and out of American concentration camps that incarcerated 120,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans behind barbed wire. Their courage and sacrifices led them to become one of the most highly decorated military unit for their size and length of service. Their struggle to overcome prejudice and demonstrate their loyalty to the United States is a story that can inspire, inform and empower us.
“Their stories are American stories,” said Christine Sato-Yamazaki, executive director at NVN. “They were American World War II soldiers of Japanese ancestry, and it is so important and extremely relevant today to share their narratives. And now we want to know, ‘What is your American Story?’.”
The NVN is inviting the public to share their #IAmAmerican story. To participate, contributors are asked to hold one of three NVN #IAmAmerican hashtag signs and share their #IamAmerican story on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram today. The NVN #IAmAmerican hashtag signs were designed by fifth generation Japanese American Kristen Wada and are available on the NVN website.
All testimonials are welcome, and participants can share a personal video, quote, paragraph or story, using any of the following prompts:
- I am American because…
- What does being an American mean to you?
- Why are you proud to be an American?
- What fear and prejudice do you feel you need to overcome?
To support the campaign, tag @nationalveteransnetwork on Instagram, @NtlVetNetwork on Twitter, or @nationalveteransnetwork on Facebook. Alternatively, photos or videos can be submitted to NVN at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About National Veterans Network
NVN’s mission is to educate current and future generations about the extraordinary legacy of American WWII soldiers of Japanese ancestry in order to promote equality and justice. The organization launched the campaign to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the first Asian American recipients in the 100th, 442nd and MIS units, and worked with the U.S. Mint to design the medal. In 2012, the organization partnered with the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service for a seven-city tour to promote recognition of the Japanese American experience. In 2016, along with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, NVN launched an online Digital Exhibition to share the story of Japanese American soldiers of WWII (cgm.smithsonianapa.org). Beginning in 2017, NVN worked with the National Museum of the U.S. Army to gather artifacts from Japanese American WWII soldiers and their families that resulted in a special exhibit dedicated to Japanese American WWII soldiers when the Museum’s opening in 2020 along with artifacts and information located throughout the museum. In 2020, the NVN in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, developed elementary and middle school curriculum. The NVN continues to honor the American WWII soldiers of Japanese ancestry by promoting, protecting, and preserving their legacy of uncommon valor and selfless service for future generations.
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