Local World War II veterans receive Congressional Gold Medal

November 2, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 2:55 p.m. Nov. 2, 2011

Japanese-American World War II veterans from Issaquah and more then 30 others from Washington received the Congressional Gold Medal — highest civilian honor in the nation — at a U.S. Capitol ceremony Wednesday.

The ceremony at the Capitol honored Issaquah recipients Roy H. Inui and Frank T. Matsuda, plus 31 other veterans from the Evergreen State. The occasion brought together hundreds of Japanese-American, or Nisei, veterans from across the United States.

Congress bestows the Congressional Gold Medal for outstanding service to the nation. The ceremony at the Capitol honored members of the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Services.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell joined the ceremony to honor the veterans.

“In the face of grave injustice during WWII, the Nisei veterans fought to preserve America’s free democracy,” she said in a statement. “In fact, they went on to become one of the most highly decorated group of veterans in United States military history. These soldiers fought for what this country could be, even while their families lived in internment camps. In the process, they paved the way to victory in WWII and a brighter future for all.”

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