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"American Heroes: Japanese American World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal"

Dec. 19, 2013 through Jan. 26, 2014
Morgan Family Center

Nearly seven decades after the beginning of World War II, the Congressional Gold Medal – the nation’s highest civilian award – was bestowed collectively on the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) for their extraordinary accomplishments in the war.
American Heroes
The men in these units, comprised almost entirely of persons of Japanese ancestry, fought with bravery and valor against America’s enemies on the battlefields in Europe and Asia, even while many of their parents and other family members were held in internment camps.

The National Veterans Network has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program to share this extraordinary story during an exclusive seven-city tour, including its last stop at Holocaust Museum Houston.

Commonly known as the “Go For Broke” regiments, the 100th/442nd is one of the most highly decorated units in U.S. military history, having earned more than 4,000 Purple Hearts, 560 Silver Stars, seven Presidential Unit Citations and 21 Medals of Honor. The MIS, whose highly specialized contributions helped hasten the end of the war, was honored with a Presidential Unit Citation in 2000. More than 19,000 Japanese American soldiers served in these units during World War II.

The Congressional Gold Medal and accompanying educational app will highlight the Japanese American World War II soldiers  with their stories of courage, respect, humility, perseverance, compassion and citizenship. Share your own stories or the stories of people who inspire you by visiting "The Congressional Gold Medal Experience" at cgm.si.edu, as developed by the National Veterans Network in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

At the conclusion of the tour, the Congressional Gold Medal will be on permanent display in “The Price of Freedom” exhibition at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

The National Veterans Network is a coalition of Japanese American veteran and civic organizations representing eight regions in the United States that advocates on a national level to educate and enlighten the public about the experience and legacy of the Japanese American World War II soldiers. 

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, nine research centers, and numerous educational and cultural programs. To learn more about the collaborating Smithsonian offices involved in this project, visit sites.si.eduamericanhistory.si.edu and apa.si.edu.

The national tour of "American Heroes: Japanese American World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal"  is made possible by the support of lead sponsor Cole Chemical, AARP, Comcast/NBC Universal, the Japanese American Veterans Association, Pritzker Military Library, the Shiratsuki Family, Southwest Airlines and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.

American Heroes logos

Community Partners
AARP
Asia Society Texas Center
CenterPoint Energy
Donna Cole
Green Bank
Kathleen and Glen Gondo
Japan-America Society of Houston
Japanese American Citizens League Houston

Related Exhibits More Info
The medal
The medal's obverse (heads side) design features Nisei (second-generation Americans of Japanese ancestry) Soldiers from both the European and Pacific theaters. The 442nd RCT color guard is depicted in the lower field of the medal. The inscription “Go For Broke” is the motto of the 442nd RCT, and was eventually used to describe the work of all three units. Courtesy, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
The medal
The medal The medal's reverse (tails side) depicts the insignias of the 100th INF BN, 442nd RCT, and MIS. The 100th INF BN insignia features a taro leaf and a traditional Hawaiian helmet, both of which are emblematic of the unit's Hawaiian roots. The "Go for Broke" Torch of Liberty shoulder patch represents the 442nd RCT. The sphinx, a traditional symbol of secrecy, represents the MIS insignia. Courtesy, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
Military ceremony on the Kahului Fair Grounds, Maui, Hawaii. Oct. 11, 1047. Lt. Col. Harry G. Albright of the 442nd RCT
Military ceremony on the Kahului Fair Grounds, Maui, Hawaii. Oct. 11, 1047. Lt. Col. Harry G. Albright of the 442nd RCT congratulates Capt. Sadani Katahara of the 442nd, which was reactivated as an organized reserve unit. Looking on are (L-R) Major Henry Kawano and Major Lloyd C. Kaapana. Courtesy, National Archives
Brig. General Frank Merrill, Commander of “Merrill’s Marauders” in Burma, poses between his Japanese American interpret
Brig. General Frank Merrill, Commander of “Merrill’s Marauders” in Burma, poses between his Japanese American interpret Brig. General Frank Merrill, Commander of “Merrill’s Marauders” in Burma, poses between his Japanese American interpreters, T/Sgt. Herbert Miyasaki of Paaulie, Hawaii and T/Sgt. Akiji Yoshimura of Colusa, Calif. May 1, 1944. Courtesy, National Archives
Address and Directions
 
Holocaust Museum Houston
Morgan Family Center
5401 Caroline St.
Houston, TX 77004-6804
Phone: 713-942-8000



Holocaust Museum Houston is a member of the Houston Museum District Association and is located in Houston's Museum District.

Holocaust Museum Houston is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums.

Hours and Admission
 
The Museum is open to the public seven days a week.

Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 5 p.m.


Effective April 15, 2014, admission rates for Holocaust Museum Houston will change. Please note the new rates:

Members FREE
Children under age 6 FREE
Students age 6-18 FREE
College-level with valid school ID FREE
Seniors age 65+ $8
Active-Duty Military $8
General Admission $12

Holocaust Museum Houston is free each Thursday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Memorial Day (May 26, 2014), D-Day (June 6, 2014), Kristallnacht (Nov. 9, 2014) and International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27, 2015).

The Laurie and Milton Boniuk Resource Center and Library is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Library is closed Saturdays and Sundays.

The Museum is closed for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For other holiday hours, visit the "Events" tab on the Museum’s Web site at www.hmh.org.

Tours
 
Docent-led tours can be scheduled for schools and groups of 10 or more. Tours are available in Spanish, English and French. To arrange a docent-led tour, please call Visitor Services at 713-942-8000, ext. 302 or submit the form below.

Guided tours are available for all visitors on Saturday and Sunday. Weekend tours run at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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