Tom Graves, nationally recognized author of the award winning book Twice
Heroes: America’s Nisei Veterans of WWII and Korea will exhibit portraits and interviews of Bay Area veterans at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj), in a three-pronged salute to Nisei veterans entitled Twice Heroes and More. The exhibit opens January 17, 2015 and runs through May 31, 2015. Six new portraits and interviews of local WWII and Korean War veterans will be on display for the first time.
Many of these veterans, now in their 90s, volunteered from the desolate War Relocation Center prison camps that held their families during WWII. Those who joined the 100th BN/442nd RCT went on to become part of the most decorated American military unit for its size and length of service. Twenty-one were ultimately awarded the Medal of Honor. Recently, the WWII Nisei veterans were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, our nation’s highest civilian honor. The lesser-known story of those who served in Korea will also be featured in the exhibit.
In addition, the amazing models of Nisei soldiers crafted by Rian Ebesugawa of Seattle will also be on display. Five figures representing a soldier in WWII dress uniform, one in 442nd battle gear, an MIS soldier, a medic and a Korean War soldier in winter battle gear will be featured.
Finally, an album which contains many of the poignant letters WWII Nisei soldiers wrote back to members of the Crusaders will be shown for the first time. The Crusaders were a group of young women in the WWII confinement camps who wrote to Nisei soldiers to boost their spirits.
The group was organized by Yuri Kochiyama, who later became a civil rights icon.
Author Graves and many of the veterans will be present at the opening event Saturday, January 17, 2015, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. The event is open to the public with regular museum admission.