Editor’s note: This story ran in our recent Congressional Gold Medal of Honor issue, which recognizes the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service. Due to popular demand, we will be featuring several articles from that commemorative edition of the Herald online.

Hawai‘i Congressional Gold Medal Celebration Set For Dec. 17 and 18

The public will have an opportunity to congratulate America’s newest Congressional Gold Medal heroes during the “Hawai‘i Salute to the Congressional Gold Medal Veterans” celebration set for Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17 and 18, in Honolulu. The national presentation was held Nov. 2 in the Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The “Hawai‘i Salute to the Congressional Gold Medal Veterans” will be highlighted by a Saturday “Victory Parade” through Waikïkï, followed by a banquet at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, where veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service, along with their Nisei “brothers” who served on the homefront, the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion, will be feted. The Hawai‘i celebration will conclude on Sunday with a memorial service at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

The “Victory Parade” will begin at 10 a.m. at Fort DeRussy. The procession will travel down Kaläkaua Avenue, ending at Kapiolani Park — no activities are planned at the park. The procession will stop briefly in front of the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, where Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle will issue a proclamation.

Veterans from throughout the state who served in either of the four units are invited to participate in the parade, accompanied by an attendant or two, if necessary. The participants will be picked up in trolleys at the Hawai‘i Convention Center at 9:30 a.m. After the parade, they will be transported back to the convention center in time for the banquet.

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs and retired U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, a Kaua‘i native, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet. Veterans of the three Congressional Gold Medal units (100th, 442nd, MIS) in attendance at the banquet will be presented with bronze replicas of the medal by the banquet’s title sponsor, BAE Systems. Also on the banquet agenda is the showing of a special tribute video commissioned by the BAE Systems.

Veterans of the 100th, 442nd, MIS and 1399th and a guest of their choice will be hosted at the banquet. Tickets for all others are $75 per adult and $50 for children under 10 years of age. Those wishing to attend the banquet or purchase sponsor tables can contact either the 100th or the 442nd veterans clubs to reserve their seats. The 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans Club can be reached at (808) 946-0272 or by e-mail at club100vets@gmail.com; the 442nd Veterans Club can be reached at (808) 949-7997 or by e-mail at 442veterans@hawaiiantel.net.

Table sponsorships (for 10 people) are also available at the following levels: $10,000 Platinum (3 tables), $7,000 Gold (2 tables), $5,000 Silver (1 table), $3,000 Bronze (1 table) and $1,000 Family (1 table).

The Sunday memorial service at Punchbowl will honor the country’s newest Congressional Gold Medal recipients as well as the comrades they lost in battle and those claimed by the cycle of life. The service, which begins at 9 a.m., will additionally honor the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Infantry of the U.S. Army Reserves, which traces its lineage to the World War II 100th/442nd. The service is open to the public.

“Hawai‘i Salute to the Congressional Gold Medal Veterans” is being co-chaired by recently retired state adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Robert Lee; former television journalist and now communications executive Barbara Tanabe, who is the daughter of MIS veteran Frank Tanabe; and James Kuroiwa of the Go for Broke Association.


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