Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura
May 2, 2009
Press conference, Los Angeles, California
It is an honor for me to be here this morning to speak on behalf of all the veterans of Japanese ancestry who are helping perpetuate the memory of those who gave their lives in the defense of freedom for their country.
No man can give more than his life for his country and the memorials here are a testimony to their sacrifice during each of our nation’s conflicts.
Having served a short time with the 442nd during world war ii and surviving 28 months as a prisoner of war during the Korean War and being awarded the Medal of Honor, does not measure up to the honor of being here to help assure us the heroes named on the memorials who made the supreme sacrifice will not ever be forgotten.
It is imperative that we veterans of all wars and the entire Japanese American community throughout this entire nation must come together and contribute to this Japanse American National War Memorial Court.
This Japanese American National Memorial Court is the only location in the entire United States that lists the actual names of every Japanese American killed in action in all of America’s wars. This in itself is a strong motive for us all to come together and assure us that this Memorial Court will remain here and be maintained long after we veterans are no longer here to see that this is accomplished.
As I stand here today and look at these memorials and read these names of so many young men who died, it brings back tearful memories of the Korean War when I was their age and some were so much younger than myself. It reminds me that they all died so young and didn’t return home like I did to enjoy a life of parenthood or hear the words dad or grandpa as I have enjoyed for the last 57 years. They never had the opportunity to get grey hair or lose their hearing that so many of us veterans enjoy.
Today, I thank god for my safe return home and for my family. For this I remain eternally grateful and, for this reason, I pledge myself to help assure that these heroes are never forgotten.
I thank the memorial preservation committee for inviting me and for the honor of helping preserve the memory of these true heroes for future generations.