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VA Secretary To Attend Celebration Of Japanese-American Veterans

OPB | Aug. 23, 2013 5:51 p.m. | Updated: Aug. 26, 2013 10:45 a.m. | Portland

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Saturday the accomplishments of Japanese-American veterans will be celebrated at the Oregon Historical Society. 

The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the vets in 2011 to recognize their service in  World War II. Now, the medal is coming to Portland as part of a nationwide tour. 

The Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, Eric Shinseki will be at the ceremony.  He says the occasion is especially significant for him, as a Japanese American.

“For a youngster from my background, these were truly the giants I grew up with.  For me, tomorrow is going to be a great day for me to say thanks — for a lifetime.  They’ve been the legends I’ve heard about; I get a chance to meet them tomorrow.

“You know, I’m a youngster who grew up in the aftermath of WWII, and in my community, these were the giants that we talked about.  They are men that served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service,” Shinseki said.

The opening ceremony at the Oregon Historical Society is at 10:30 a.m. The Congressional Gold Medal will be on display through September 29. 

The Historical Society will also be showing an exhibit on the effects of World War II on the Japanese-American community in Hood River.

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