Japanese American Veterans’ Association (JAVA) 2021 Day of Affirmation

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JAVA President Gerald Yamada gives address at Day of Affirmation, National WWII Memorial. Photo: Neet Ford

On July 15, 2021, at 12 noon (EST), the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) will commemorate the second annual Day of Affirmation at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. This date marks the 75th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman’s review of the returning 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) on the White House Ellipse on July 15, 1946.

This event is called the “Day of Affirmation” by JAVA because President Truman’s salute to the Japanese American soldiers that “You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice – and you have won…” affirms that all the Japanese American soldiers, men and women, who served during World War II are America’s heroes and removes any doubt that they are loyal citizens of the United States of America.

The JAVA ceremony will include the presentation of a wreath at the Price of Freedom Wall, where each
gold star represents 100 American soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Eight stars represent the
Japanese Americans who died defending America’s freedoms during World War II.

The military escort for this year’s event is LT Caitlin Takahashi-Pipkin, MC, USNR, granddaughter of Kazuo and Fusa Takahashi. Kazuo Takahashi served in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II and passed away in 1977. LT Takahashi-Pipkin is a medical doctor who is currently completing 2020 Day of Affirmation, JAVA President Gerald Yamada, World War II Memorial, Washington, DC. Photo: Neet Ford.a General Surgery Residency at East Carolina University in North Carolina and reports to the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED).

One of the wreath bearers for the ceremony is Tyler Franklin, who is also a grandson of Kazuo and Fusa Takahashi. Fusa Takahashi is one of the original co-founders of the Stamp Our Story campaign that successfully obtained the U.S. Postmaster General’s approval of the “Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers of WW II” commemorative stamp, which was first issued on June 3, 2021. The stamp campaign was started in 2005 by Fusa Takahashi with Chiz Ohira and Aiko O. King. Mr. Franklin currently works for Intuitive, a surgical robotics company, in Sunnyvale, CA.

Ms. Michelle Amano is the other wreath bearer. Ms. Amano is the granddaughter of Mike Masaoka, whose advocacy work with the government to allow Japanese Americans to serve again in the U.S. military resulted in the creation of the 442nd RCT, a segregated all Japanese American combat unit, in He was one of the first to volunteer to serve in the 442nd RCT together with his four brothers, one of whom was killed in action. Mike Masaoka is also remembered for authoring the “Japanese American Creed” which is read at the annual Memorial Day Service at Arlington National Cemetery sponsored by the D.C. Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, and JAVA.

The Day of Affirmation will be live streamed via Facebook on July 15, 2021, at 12 noon (EST). To
watch, please visit the JAVA website at www.java-us.org