Washington, D.C.- The U.S Senate voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill S. 1055 which will grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The Senate also passed the amendment to include the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) to the bill. The final process to officially pass S. 1055 is for it to return to the House of Representatives to pass the amended version for it to be signed by the President.
The JACL is honored and proud to have contributed alongside the other Japanese American veteran networks and thanks the tremendous efforts by both Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) offices in honoring these well deserved veterans. Both Phillip Ozaki, the Norman Y. Mineta Fellow and Jean Shiraki, the Daniel K. Inouye Fellow, out of the Washington, D.C JACL office, along with Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) members Terry Shima and Grant Ichikawa worked tirelessly and visited over 50 Senate offices on Capitol Hill to ask for co-sponsorships on the bill. As of today the bill officially has 73 Senate co-sponsors in which JACL contributed to at least 30 of them.
Congressman Schiff who introduced the House version (H.R 347) of the bill commended the Senate for passing S. 1055. "After the bombing of Pearl Harbor incited doubts about the loyalty of Japanese-Americans, these brave men who enlisted to fight to protect our Nation were faced with segregated training conditions, families and friends relocated to internment camps, and repeated questions about their combat abilities," Rep. Schiff said. "Man for man they were the most highly decorated combat units of the war -- I can't imagine a group more deserving on Congress highest honor."
The JACL applauds the Senate for the unanimous vote and anxiously awaits for the amended bill to be passed by the House of Representatives and officially signed by President Obama.