After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. government ordered 120,000 Japanese, more than half of them American citizens, to internment camps.
” I didn’t believe it,” Iwasaki said. “I was an American – I thought.”
He was 16, in high school in a Seattle suburb. He spent two years in three different camps. The day he turned 18, he volunteered to go to war.
“I figured that’s just what I got to do because this is still your country,” he said. “Because you still think you’re an American.” (…)
The 442nd became one of the most decorated units in U.S. military history. On Wednesday they received one of America’s highest civilian honors, the Congressional Gold Medal. In all, about 19,000 Japanese-Americans served in the units honored at the ceremony: the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service.On Wednesday they received one of America’s highest civilian honors, the Congressional Gold Medal.