President Obama has awarded the nation’s second highest civilian honor to Japanese American veteran Terry Shima, Executive Director of the Japanese American Veterans Association. Shima was one of 16 people to receive the Presidential Citizens Medal at the East Wing of the White House.
President Obama recognized recipients “for the shining example that you set every single day and the inspiration that you give each of us as fellow citizens, including your President.”
The 90-year-old Shima served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and was honored for his commitment of preserving the story of Japanese American veterans.
“I accept this medal on behalf of the volunteers at the Japanese American Veterans Association and for the men who fought in Europe and the Pacific, including my older brother, Hideichi Shimabukuro, to settle the question of loyalty once and for all and to help level the playing field for minorities,” said Shima. “I also accept this medal for the over 800 men we left on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific, and for the post-World War II Japanese American men and women who competed with the best-of-the-best to build America’s greatness.”