Spark Matsunaga Elementary School
Veterans Day Concert
November 19, 2018
ANNUAL VETERANS DAY CEREMONY
NOVEMBER 11, 2018
JAVA Veterans Day activities in the District kicked off early in the morning with Executive Committee Member Rod Azama representing JAVA at the Veterans Administration's National Veterans Day Breakfast at the National Press Club. Later, JAVA members enjoyed an informal lunch at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Following lunch, members of the Japanese American Veterans Association, the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, the Pan Pacific American Leaders and Mentors Organization and the Japanese American Citizens League gathered at the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in WWII on November 11, 2018 to honor and pay tribute to US Veterans and remember the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice. Minister Kenichiro Matsui, Head of Chancery, Embassy of Japan, Paul Shelton, Vice Chairman of PPALM, David Inoue Executive Director of the JACL, John Tobe, Vice Chair of NJAMF were among the guests in attendance. The program began with a rousing rendition of National Anthem. Assisted by George Washington University ROTC Midshipmen, JAVA EC Member LTC Brett Egusa assisted Ms. Belkis Leong-Hong in a reverent laying of the wreath in front of the Memorial. JAVA President LTC Al Goshi (USA, Retired) in his remarks, noted that the day’s ceremony is called Remembrance Day in England, Armistice Day in France and Veterans Day in the United States. He explained that while the US holiday has its origins in Armistice Day, which celebrated the end of WWI on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh month in 1918, our observance was changed to Veterans Day to honor all those who have served or serve in the Armed Forces. LTC Goshi reminded the audience of the tremendous sacrifice of all veterans and their families particularly those in WWII when Nisei soldiers in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service put aside their grievances of intense discrimination and fought with valor and dignity for the ideals of democracy. Their sacrifice remains a lesson for all Americans. The guest speaker Ms. Belkis Leong-Hong, Founder, CEO, and President of Knowledge Advantage, Inc and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for C4I, shared her story of immigration from China to Cuba to the US and her rise to leadership in the federal government. She urged the audience to draw on the hallmark Asian characteristic of persistence to take on leadership roles in their communities and in the Nation. Speaking directly to the young students gathered from George Washington University, Ms.Leong-Hong called on them to remember the sacrifices that have been made by their forbearers and to continue to strive towards excellence.
Military Medicine at the JAVA Fall Luncheon
Gathering at the Harvest Moon Restaurant in Arlington, VA, a group of forty JAVA members and special guests shared a meal and celebrated friendship. JAVA members felt fortunate to have an out-of-town visitor, Father Richard Kim (the brother of JAVA member Art Kim), offer the blessing. By way of introduction, Secretary Wade Ishimoto related the extraordinary experience of the Kim Family who were involved in the Korean independence movement in the late 1920s. Concerned about safety in their homeland which was under Japanese control, the family escaped to Shanghai, China in 1928. In time, three Kim brothers would join the US Army. Richard Kim served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam before becoming ordained as an Anglican priest. Following the blessing, members enjoyed a hearty lunch and listened to Dr. Caravalho, MG speak about Military Medicine and his work at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (HJF). Dr. Caravalho’ s career included serving as Army Deputy Surgeon General and Deputy Commanding General of the US Army Medical Command, as well as Joint Staff Surgeon at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. In his presentation, Dr. Caravalho discussed how Military Medicine’s focus on injury data collection and scientific analysis has improved the treatment and outcome for American soldiers. He then described the Henry M. Jackson Foundation’s unique role in moving research in military medicine forward. Essentially, as Dr. Caravalho explained, HJF acts as the “connective tissue” between private partners and DoD medical researchers to benefit our nation’s warfighters. Before Secretary Ishimoto brought the meeting to a close by uniting members in singing “God Bless America, longtime JAVA member Floyd Mori, who has served as CEO at both APAICS and JACL, bade his farewell and urged all to visit him at his new home in Utah.
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Brief History of WWII Internment Camps featuring JAVA Members
In 2010 JAVA teamed up with Montgomery County Public Schools to produce a series of educational videos on the experience of Japanese Americans during WWII. The videos feature Gerald Yamada, Norman Ikari, Grant Hirabayashi, Grant Ichikawa, Mary Murakami, Kelly Kuwayama and Terry Shima. Watch below or click here to watch.
1946 Speech by Captain Thomas E. Crowley
Patrick Crowley, the son of Captain Thomas E. Crowley of E Company, 442, recently shared with JAVA a copy of a speech his father gave to different West Coast communities to ease the way for resettlement as interned Japanese Americans returned to their hometowns. In his remarks, Captain Crowley, in an effort to combat anti-Japanese American sentiments, eloquently describes the heroism of Nisei soldiers, and reminds his audience of the ideals of American democracy. Please read his speech here.
Comprehensive Survey of JAVA's 25-year History Released
Our research archive (see tab at top of page) now houses an extensive history of the first 25 years of the organization. Please click here to read.