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Small Town in France Honors Japanese American Veterans

The legacy of Asian American veterans is often ignored on Veterans Day. But one small town in France is making sure that people remember Japanese American veterans, KHON2 reports.

Bruyeres, a commune in northeastern France, has been working to ensure the legacies of the Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) soldiers from the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team are not forgotten.

The Japanese Americans in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regiment fought in eight major WWII campaigns in Italy, Germany and Southern France. One of the things the 442nd regiment is most famous for is liberating/rescuing the “Lost Battalion” in Southern France.

Nearly every corner of Bruyeres honors the Nisei soldiers with a commemorative plaque or sign, according to KHON2.

“George Washington Suyama was an ordinary soldier like thousands of others who came and fought and died and I didn’t want him to be forgotten,” Carl Williams told KHON2.

Prior to the pandemic, Nisei veterans and/or their relatives journeyed to Bruyeres and other towns in France to visit historic battle sites. Filmmakers Brian Yamamoto and Mike Izumi documented a July 2019 trip, according to Rafu Shimpo.

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