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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Activities fill 442nd reunion week

 •  Children of 442nd may outnumber veterans at reunion

By Walter Wright
Advertiser Staff Writer

The 60th annual reunion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team this week in Honolulu is choked with activities for the men and their families, from registration at the Pacific Beach Hotel Thursday through a reunion banquet Sunday afternoon.

But there is also a host of events for the public, designed to further the 442nd's goal that their history outlive the men who made it.

A display honoring 24 Japanese American Medal of Honor recipients opens today through April 30 at the Hamilton Library at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

Tomorrow, at 9 a.m., as they have done since 1950, a group of 442nd veterans will place small American flags at the headstones of fallen comrades in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).

There will be a memorial service at Punchbowl Saturday at 9 a.m., with UH President Evan Dobelle and Gen. David Bramlett (U.S. Army, Retired) as featured speakers.

The men of the 442nd are also calling public attention to bravery exhibited in unexpected quarters by Japanese on the other side: on Friday, the University and its Nisei Veterans Endowed Forum Series will present a talk by Yukiko Sugihara, the widow of Japanese Consul General Chiune Sugihara, at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i at 10 a.m.

Consul Sugihara in 1940 issued visas, against the orders of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, to more than 6,000 Polish Jews, saving them from almost certain death at the hands of Japan's wartime ally, Nazi Germany.

The greatest opportunity for the public to see and hear the story of the AJAs in World War II also begins Friday, with a series of films being shown at the Art House Theaters in Restaurant Row at 500 Ala Moana Blvd.

  • "Uncommon Courage," about Nisei men who served as interpreters in the Pacific Theater, shows at 4:30 p.m., admission $5.25. (The film will also be broadcast by PBS Hawai'i at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and shown again at the theater April 9 at 9:30 p.m. and April 10 at 4:30 p.m.)
  • "Journey of Honor," following a dozen World War II Nisei veterans from Hawai'i on a historic return to the battlefields of Italy, shows at 7 p.m., $7.75. (Also 9:30 p.m. Saturday on PBS Hawai'i, and more showings at the theater at 9:30 p.m. Sunday and 4:30 p.m. April 9 .)
  • At 9:30 p.m., "Rabbit in the Moon," which depicts some Japanese Americans who were neither stoic about internment nor anxious to prove their loyalty, will show for an admission of $7.75. (Theater showings also at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday and 4:30 p.m. Monday.)

Films on Saturday include:

  • "A Tradition of Honor" documentary at Honolulu Academy of Arts Theater, reservations by calling (310) 328-0907, $15, $12 for veterans, seniors and students and Go For Broke Foundation Members.
  • "Beyond Barbed Wire," 100th-442nd documentary, 4:30 p.m. Art House Theaters, $5.25 (shown again 9:30 p.m. April 8 and 7 p.m. April 9).
  • Premiere of "Daniel K. Inouye: An American Story," 5:30 p.m. USS Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbor, $150 per ticket to benefit the memorial, telephone 455-1600, ext. 223.
  • "Go For Broke," Hollywood's version of the 442nd story, starring Van Johnson and veterans of combat, Art House Theaters, 7:30 p.m., $7.75 (shown again 1:30 p.m. Sunday, 9:30 p.m. Monday and 7 p.m. April 10).
  • "The Color of Honor," AJAs reacting to internment at home, fascism abroad, 9:30 p.m. Art House Theaters (again at 7 p.m. April 8 and 9:30 p.m. April 10).
  • Opening Sunday is "On the Home Front," three films on the internment camps, Art House Theaters, 4:30 p.m., $5.25 (shown again 7 p.m. Monday and 4:30 p.m. April 8).

Correction: The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl was opened in 1949. Veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team have been marking their reunions by placing small American flags at the headstones of fallen comrades at Punchbowl since 1950. A previous version of this story contained incorrect information.