Do You Remember Pearl Harbor Day 1941?

President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounced it as a "Date that will live in infamy." It was the day America was dragged into World War II.

BY: Rob Kerby

 

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Congressional Medal of Honor winner George Sakako at a recent ceremony

Out of those relocation camps came the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the United States Army — composed of Japanese-American enlisted men who pleaded to be allowed to join the battle. Although their families were in internment camps in the desert, the 442nd fought with distinction in Italy, southern France and Germany. They became the most highly–decorated regiment in the history of the United States armed forces, earnintg over 18,000 individual medals, including 9,000 Purple Hearts, over 4,000 Silver Stars, 560 Silver Stars, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 22 Legions of Merit and 21 Congressional Medals of Honor.

Today on my mom’s wall is an Easter lily plaque carved by hand and painted by one of the Japanese-Americans from a piece of scrap lumber. She quietly looks at it from time to time, remembering that day in December 1941 when her world – and that of millions of others — turned upside down as the U.S. Pacific Fleet burned in the oily waters of Pearl Harbor.



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