WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 11, 2010) – Twenty-two years after The Civil Liberties Act became law on August 10, 1988, providing redress to Japanese Americans interned by the US Government during the Second World War; the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the national memorial inspired by the Act.
The event will be held on November 4, 2010, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Foundation will honor retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in an historic gathering with Japanese American veterans of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) and the National Park Service for a gala luncheon to acknowledge the dedication anniversary of the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II.
With the theme, “Living History. Our Story. Your Rights,” the program begins with “Breaking the Code,” to tell the story of both the Military Intelligence Service and Justice John Paul Stevens who played important roles in breaking and interpreting the codes of the Empire of Japan.
Justice Stevens will be presented with the Award for Constitutional Rights, for his own code-breaking activities in the Pacific during his World War II service in the Navy as a cryptologist, and his later historic judicial work to disable the codes of discrimination and injustice – including more than three decades of service on the US Supreme Court.
On behalf of MIS veterans, Grant Ichikawa will accept the Award for Patriotism. This will begin a year-long tribute by the Foundation to Japanese Americans who served in the MIS during World War II and in Occupied Japan. During World War II, Ichikawa went directly to work with the Allied Translator and Interpreter Service (ATIS) in Australia and the Philippines. As a part of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey office in October of 1945, Ichikawa went to Hiroshima to assist with the post-Atomic bomb assessment of the area.
The Chairman’s Award will be presented to the National Park Service for its stewardship and partnership with the Foundation for the care and promotion of the Memorial, for the Service’s commitment to the sites of former internment camps and for the Service’s general commitment to telling the stories of American history through all the sites under its care.
US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has been invited to accept the Award on behalf of the National Park Service. Salazar’s home state of Colorado was home to the Amache/Granada internment camp. Amache/Granada was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 and, and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.
“Code breaking is a fitting theme for the 10th anniversary of the Memorial,” said Dr. Craig D. Uchida, NJAMF Chairman. “Breaking codes of those who would attack the United States.
“Breaking codes of injustice,” he added. “Breaking codes of neglect by ensuring that history does not crumble into abstractions, that people, places and events are well-remembered. That’s our purpose this year.”
Uchida said that honoring Justice Stevens, and a Nisei hero, Grant Ichikawa, and the National Park Service combines to tell a story larger than the sum of their parts.
“It is a privilege for the Foundation to help tell that story,” he added.
In November of 2000, Attorney General Janet Reno represented the Clinton Administration as the Memorial was dedicated. Today, NJAMF’s mission is one of understanding American history in its full contexts to celebrate our patriotism, to ensure that mistakes of the past do not reoccur in the future, and to leave a meaningful and accurate historical narrative.
The NJAMF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and public awareness about the Japanese American experience during World War II. It 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 we must not allow anything like this to happen to any minority community again. In the last year, the Foundation has carried on its mission by honoring World War II heroes of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Houston, TX, and by honoring Navajo Code Talkers in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, as featured on C-Span.
Additionally, NJAMF recently received a grant from the National Park Service to train docents at the Memorial to continue to educate the public on the history of the Japanese American experience during World War II. www.njamf.com, and on Facebook.