The City of Alhambra (California), in conjunction with the Go For Broke National Education Center, is seeking seven World War II Japanese American veterans who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), 442nd Regimental Combat Team or Military Intelligence Service to ride on its 2015 Rose Parade float on New Year’s Day in response to the parade’s theme of “Inspiring Stories.”
“We couldn’t think of a more inspiring American story to tell than that of the Japanese American soldiers of World War II,” said Alhambra Mayor Gary Yamauchi, adding that the city’s leadership and float committee “are excited to bring international awareness to the legacy of these soldiers who fought with such courage, even as their country turned its back on their families and imprisoned them for the crime of being the ‘wrong’ ethnicity.”
The 41-foot float will be named “Go For Broke,” reflecting the soldiers’ willingness to give their all for their country. GFBNEC is providing historical perspective and organizing the nationwide search for the seven veterans.
The Rose Parade, a New Year’s Day tradition since 1890, is held every New Year’s Day in Pasadena, Calif. Over 700,000 people watch the parade along its 5.5-mile route, with an additional 75 million watching it on television in the U.S. and abroad.
GFBNEC is soliciting nominations for float riders among Japanese American veterans nationwide. The participating veterans must meet specific physical criteria to be eligible to ride the float, including:
- They must be totally ambulatory, not requiring a walking device or assistance with walking;
- They must be present in Pasadena for the final float judging on Dec. 31, 2014, at 2 p.m., Pacific Standard Time; and
- They must be at the Rose Parade float holding area at 5 a.m. PST on Jan. 1, 2015, and be prepared to ride on the float from 8 a.m. until approximately 10 a.m. PST.
GFBNEC is encouraging families to nominate their veteran. The veterans will be seated on the float during the Rose Parade ride.
The City of Alhambra is hoping for representation from across the country. Transportation and lodging costs are the responsibility of the rider and/or his family. The Alhambra City Rose Parade Committee will select the float riders.
For more information, or to nominate a veteran, submit a 100- to 200-word profile on the veteran by Oct. 27, to Peggy Renke at email@example.com, or by mail to GFBNEC, 367 Van Ness Way, Suite 611, Torrance, CA 90501.
Photo: Alhambra Rose Parade by Prayitno