Secretary Mineta and Ambassador Fujisaki cut the ribbon at the Freedom Walk as honorees of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation.
Washington, D.C. (April 5, 2010) – The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation held its 12th annual Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk on Saturday, April 3, as a historical and cultural activity to raise awareness about the Japanese American experience during World War II.
The walk also marks the tenth anniversary of the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism and highlights the vigilant role everyone must play in upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans. To celebrate this anniversary, a special group of former internees came together to share their personal experiences of life in the camps and military service during World War II.
Ichiro Fujisaki, Ambassador of Japan to the United States and Norman Mineta, former Cabinet Secretary, were honored for their long support of the Freedom Walk and dedication to the mission of the Foundation.
“I am so proud to be honored by an organization I care about so deeply,” said Secretary Mineta. “I have worked for many years to highlight the struggles and patriotism of Americans of Japanese ancestry, and the work of NJAMF is vitally important to keeping that memory alive. I thank the Foundation for this honor.”
Over 200 individuals attend the Freedom Walk each year. The Walk began with a series of distinguished speakers, followed by a short, non-competitive walk to affirm our resolve to uphold the constitutional rights of all Americans.
The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation will hold a special awards reception to honor the World War II Navajo Code Talkers on April 26, 2010 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Senior cadets and midshipmen of Japanese American and American Indian descent will be present at the event sponsored by Raytheon Corporation.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week, citywide cultural event. The 2010 festival celebrates the 98th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the citizens of the United States and Japan.
The National Japanese American Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and public awareness about the Japanese American experience during World War II. NJAMF raised the private funds to build the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II. The Memorial is not only a monument to the Japanese American experience, but also a reminder that injustices must not be allowed to happen to any minority community.