The thousands of Japanese-Americans who served in World War II are being recognized and honored with the Congressional Gold Medal.
Now, you must understand there were entire military units, battalions of Japanese-Americans, who were only allowed to serve, segregated, after 1943. Before that, Japanese-Americans, some having lived in the U.S. for generations, were considered enemy aliens. Finally, they were allowed to offer their lives, volunteering to fight for a country that confiscated their families businesses and belongings, sending thousands to repatriation camps.
Japanese-Americans were incarcerated simply because of their names and the way they looked.
There were no camps for Klaus and Inge or Giuseppe and Maria. The Germans and Italians were our enemies too, but they looked like us and they fought side-by-side with the other white guys.
So now, the Congressional Gold Medal will tour the nation to honor those heroic Japanese-Americans soldiers.
Perhaps, one day we’ll allow our black fighting men the chance to show their gratitude for all we’ve given them.
I’m Pat McMahon.