Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Hosts Advance Screening of “Go For Broke” at U.S. Capitol to Honor the Nisei Veterans of World War II

October 30, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today hosted an event entitled “The 75th Anniversary of the Japanese American Incarceration during WWII” featuring a panel discussion, ukulele performance, and special advance screening of “Go for Broke: An Origins Story” in the U.S. Capitol. The Congresswoman was joined by Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41); S. Floyd Mori, President and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS); Stacey Hayashi, Historian of Japanese American Incarceration and Executive Producer; and Jake Shimabukuro, musician and composer for the film.

“Go For Broke: An Origins Story” follows the story of a group of University of Hawaiʻi ROTC students, and their families, in the days leading up to and following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. It shines a light on the distrust, prejudice and discrimination against Americans of Japanese ancestry whose loved ones were thrown in internment camps, and the incredible story of the young men who, in the face of this adversity, volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army. They formed the historic Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV), and eventually the Nisei-only 100th/442nd Infantry Regiment—the most highly decorated unit in Army history.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of certain communities based only on ethnicity and country of origin.

 

VIDEO: Interviews with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Executive Director Stacey Hayashi, and other guests at the screening are available here

Video interview with Jake Shimabukuro is available here

Photos from tonight's event are available for download here

“Despite facing ugly and persistent prejudice and discrimination after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the Nisei-only 442nd volunteered to serve under the American flag – carrying out innumerable acts of heroism and valor and becoming the most highly decorated unit in Army history,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “The “Go for Broke” spirit and the unwavering loyalty for America carried the 442nd through the war and onto a lifetime of public service. As we look around our country and the world today, we continue to see the same divisiveness and prejudice that targeted Americans of Japanese ancestry in World War II. We must continue to be inspired by the Aloha spirit and confront hatred and bigotry with courage, love, and respect.”

“The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, in which three of my great uncles served, was comprised entirely of Japanese American soldiers who families were unjustly designated as “enemy aliens” and, in many cases, held in remote incarceration camps across the country,” said Congressman Mark Takano. “In the face of racism and mass incarceration, this all-Japanese American force—the most decorated military unit in American history for its size—was crucial to the Allied victory in Europe, often called upon to undertake seemingly impossible missions on the front lines. Today, as we reflect on the 75th anniversary of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans, I am proud to honor the brave soldiers of the 442nd, including my own family members, who were willing to die for an America that did not fully recognize them as Americans.”

“It's critical for folks in our nation’s capital to see it [GO FOR BROKE], especially today, the 73rd anniversary the rescue of the "Lost Battalion" of Texas in the Vosges Mountains of France, by the Japanese Americans of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team,” said Stacey Hayashi, Executive Producer of Go For Broke: An Origins Story. “Especially coming on the heels of a racist "joke" from the Houston Astros' first baseman and condoned by the MLB Commissioner, during a World Series game, recent events around the country have shown we need to appreciate our diversity instead of fear it.  The 100th/442nd RCT proved this with their blood on the battlefields of Italy and France over 70 years ago—all the while being distrusted by their own government and fellow Americans and other immigrants—with many of their families locked up in America's concentration camps. This should never be forgotten. America's strength comes from her diverse people; there is no place for racism in the United States, a nation of immigrants. Americans who love America are not all Christian, blond-haired, or blue-eyed. Some of us have almond eyes, brown and black hair, and are Buddhist.”  

“Go For Broke helps us to understand a chaotic time in our history, when patriotism overcame the negativeness of bigotry. It is a very important lesson taught in the movie that people of color always being suspect is a false notion that fosters racism and heartache- Japanese American incarceration is just one example,” said S. Floyd Mori, President and CEO, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS).

“As a Japanese American living in this country, I realize that I have a much better life because of the sacrifices that they made,” said Jake Shimabukuro, Japanese American composer.

Background:

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is an original co-sponsor of both H. Res. 143 and H. Res. 338 to honor and celebrate the important historic contributions made by Americans of Japanese ancestry, and the Asian and Pacific American community during World War II and throughout our country’s history in Hawai‘i and across the United States.

More updates and information from Rep. Tulsi Gabbard can be found here:

 

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