BISHOP MUSEUM SELECTED TO HOST THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL AWARDED TO
JAPANESE-AMERICAN WORLD WAR II VETERANS
The Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit shares the inspiring story of those who fought with bravery and valor on the battlefields of Europe and Asia
HONOLULU — The Bishop Museum has been selected as one of seven museums in the country to play host in 2013 to the Congressional Gold Medal awarded in 2011 to Japanese-American, or Nisei, World War II veterans in recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments. Hawai‘i’s Senior Senator Daniel K. Inouye along with Blair D. Collis, president and CEO of the Bishop Museum, attended the announcement of the National Tour at a press conference held today in Washington D.C.
The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has partnered with the National Museum of American History and the National Veterans Network to share the inspiring story of these men who fought with bravery and valor on the battlefields of Europe and Asia, even while many of their parents and other family members were held in internment camps.
The planned tour will bring the Nisei Congressional Gold Medal to some of the top museums in the country:
- National World War II Museum, New Orleans, La. – Jan. 12-Feb. 17, 2013
- Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawai‘i – March 9-April 14, 2013
- Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, Calif. – May 4-June 9, 2013
- De Young Museum, San Francisco, Calif. – June 29-Aug. 4, 2013
- Oregon Historical Society, Portland, Ore. – Aug. 24-Sept. 29, 2013
- Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Ill. – Oct. 19-Dec. 8, 2013
- Houston Holocaust Museum, Houston, Texas – Dec. 21, 2013-Jan. 24, 2014
“It is an honor and a privilege to be among the few museums in the nation selected to host the medal,” said Blair D. Collis, president and CEO of Bishop Museum. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Hawai‘i to recognize and celebrate the valor and legacy of these World War II Japanese-American veterans who changed Hawai‘i’s history and uplifted a generation through their unwavering loyalty and sacrifice.” Upon the conclusion of the tour, the Congressional Gold Medal will be on permanent display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
The medal will be accompanied by an educational package with an iPad application, social learning website and curriculum developed by the National Veterans Network in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Asian Pacific American Program. Centered on the character values associated with Japanese American veterans—courage, respect, humility, perseverance, compassion and citizenship—these materials will provide users with a constantly-growing, social learning community.
The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) veterans by the United States Congress on November 2, 2011, in recognition of their exceptional service, sacrifice and loyalty to America. The Gold Medal represents Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. A complete list of recipients is available at House.gov.
The national tour of the Nisei Congressional Gold Medal is made possible by the support of AARP, Comcast/NBC Universal, Cole Chemical, Southwest Airlines and Pritzker Military Library.
About Bishop Museum
The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his wife Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of King Kamehameha I. Today, the Museum is recognized as the principal museum of the Pacific, housing the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts and natural history specimens. More than 350,000 people visit the Museum each year, including over 40,000 schoolchildren. For more information, please call 808.847.3511 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org.
About The National Veterans Network
The National Veterans Network—a coalition of Japanese American veteran and civic organizations representing eight regions in the United States—have come together to ensure that the stories of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd RCT and MIS are shared with the American public.
About the Smithsonian Institution
Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, nine research centers, and numerous educational and cultural programs. To learn more about the collaborating Smithsonian offices involved in this project, visit sites.si.edu , americanhistory.si.edu , and apa.si.edu .
# # #