Day: November 11, 2011

Finally, Congressional Gold Medals To Japanese American Veterans Of World War II!

Seventy years ago next December 7, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, forcing America into World War II.

Among the victims of the Japanese attack were approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans who were placed into internment camps for the duration of the war, because of their ethnicity.

But their sons served honorably in World War II and contributed mightily to the victory over both Japan and Germany, with a segregated unit winning more medals, honors and awards than any other unit of World War II.

Now, Congress has seen fit, as of November 2, to honor the veterans who served and those who died through the awarding of Congressional Gold Medals in a ceremony in the US Capitol Visitor Center, presided over by Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The most touching moment was the speech of Senate President Pro Tem Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, who has served longer in the Senate than anyone but the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

Wounded seriously in World War II, and recuperating in a hospital alongside former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, Inouye went on to become the most famous Asian American politician in the history of Congress, and if he serves in office until June 29, 2014, he will have become the longest serving senator in US history, surpassing Senator Byrd.

On Veterans Day, it is appropriate that we honor and commemorate those heroic Japanese American soldiers who did their duty despite their families being interned, as they fought for freedom and democracy!

11/11/11: Honoring Our Veterans Appropriately

Today is Veterans Day, when we remember and commemorate the sacrifices of our veterans in all wars since World War II, now that in the past year the last veteran of World War I, Frank Buckles, passed away at age 110.

President Barack Obama has been the strongest advocate of veterans and their needs since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and yesterday, the US Senate, in a very rare moment of unity, voted 94-1 to back the promotion of tax credits to employers who hire veterans coming home from our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The one negative vote came from South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, who used the excuse that he did not believe in any “preferential treatment” for any group of Americans over others!

This is absolutely disgraceful reasoning and behavior, as if there is any group which deserves “preferential treatment” to honor their sacrifices and loss of employment advancement, it is our veterans who put themselves in “harm’s way” to defend our country.

2.4 million men and women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, less than one percent of the population, and many have suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as crippling and lasting physical injuries. Over 6,000 have made the ultimate sacrifice.

So these veterans deserve “preferential treatment” in obtaining employment, gaining necessary health care, being given assistance in gaining education, and being allowed to have adequate housing.

We salute our veterans and we should offer each a salute and a hug when we have the opportunity to meet them, as they have preserved our nation’s security while we went about our daily business, being fortunate to live in the greatest nation of the world, which affords us the opportunity to pursue our dreams and our goals.

America’s veterans are our HEROES, and let’s not forget that!