Gerald Yamada, JAVA President
July will be a busy month for JAVA. There are two important JAVA events in July that I ask the JAVA membership to support. The first event is the second annual Day of Affirmation to be held on July 15 at the World War II Memorial in Washington DC. This date will mark 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. 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.
There will be two wreath bearers. One is Tyler Franklin, 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 World War II Commemorative Stamp, that was first issued on June 3, 2021.
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. 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
The Day of Affirmation will be livestreamed via Facebook on July 15, 2021, at 12 noon (EST). To watch, please visit the JAVA website at www.java-us.org.
The second event is JAVA’s first luncheon meeting for 2021 to be held on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the Peking Duck Gourmet Inn Restaurant, 6029 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041, starting at 11:30 am. The cost is $30 per person.
The guest speaker for our luncheon is Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Ray L. Oden, U.S. Army Special Forces, who is currently President of the Special Forces Association Chapter XI (SFA Chapter XI), “The National Capitol Chapter.”
At the July 24th meeting, we will also make several JAVA award presentations and announce the 2021 JAVA scholarship winners. After the luncheon, we will convene the annual General Membership Meeting and ask the general membership to approve by-law amendments that have been approved by the Executive Council. The proposed by-law amendments would:
- Authorize a virtual general membership meeting if a health or safety crisis prevents holding an in-person general meeting;
- Change the JAVA election of officers procedures to have the votes cast in advance of the general membership meeting instead at the meeting;
- Authorize the JAVA President to hire an Executive Director in addition to the current authority to appoint an Executive Director;
- Change the title of Regional Directors to Regional Representatives; and
- Require Executive Council members and committee members to submit an annual conflict of interest statement.
If you can attend the July 24th luncheon meeting, please make your reservation with Neet Ford at email@example.com.
Hope to see you at both events.