Never Forget Gala - Honoring the WWII 100th/442nd RCT and MIS Soldiers
The San Diego Japanese American Citizen's League Chapter hosted a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II through the “Never Forget” Gala held on September 19, 2015, which honored the veterans of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, and all Nisei veterans of WWII, and their families.
San Diego’s 118 Nisei soldiers, represent the thousands who volunteered from the plantations of Hawaii and those from the ten desolate internment camps, where 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were incarcerated for the duration of the war. As the years go by, it seems the younger generations have all but forgotten the hardships of WWII. Their worlds are filled with so many other challenges, but we took this opportunity to let the younger generations of americans reflect, question, and gain a deeper understanding, and gave them an appreciation towards the sacrifices that the Nisei soldiers made for their country and the contributions the group made in earning equality, which is reflected in our society today.
Our goal was to take a moment in history to honor the past and preserve it for the future, to include fourth and fifth generation Japanese Americans in the process, giving them a sense of legacy. Our intent was and still is to provide a much needed sense of inclusion and belonging to those younger generations, and to share with and educate other communities locally, nationally and internationally.
Key invited guests for this event included Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, San Diego Mayor Kevin Falconer, Congressman Scott Peters and members of the San Diego City Council. Tamlyn Tomita, star of Karate Kid II, Come See the Paradise, and The Joy Luck Club, and Lee Ann Kim, former KGTV anchor and current Executive Director of the Pac Arts Movement both served as a co-emcee for the evening.
Partial confirmed Honorary Committee members include: State Senator’s Marty Block and Ben Hueso; Assemblymembers Brian Maienschein, Shirley Weber and Lorena Gonzalez; State Controller Betty Yee; City of Coronado Mayor Casey Tanaka; Supervisor’s Greg Cox, Dave Roberts and Ron Roberts; and City of San Diego Councilmember Chris Cate.