HomeJapanese AmericanOregon highway could be renamed for Japanese Am WWII vets

Oregon highway could be renamed for Japanese Am WWII vets

State Highway 35 in Oregon will likely be renamed in honor of Japanese Americans who both risked their lives and died protecting the United States in World War II.

Oregon Live reports state lawmakers voted to rename the 41 miles stretch the Oregon Nisei Veterans World War II Memorial Highway.

According to KGW, the bill now goes to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for approval.

Japanese American Linda Tamura joined many in the effort to rename the highway. Her father and uncle are both WWII veterans.

“Nisei is significant because they were incarcerated and they served our country,” Tamura said to KGW.

It’s estimated 130 Japanese Americans in Oregon served in Europe and the South Pacific. Most served in the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe or as linguists in the Military Intelligence Service in the South Pacific.

The Columbia Gorge News reports this would be the first state highway to be named in honor of Japanese American veterans.

Hood River’s American Legion Post 22 joined in support of the legislation. Eight other highways in Oregon are named for veterans.

“During WWII, the Nisei soldiers fought prejudice and fought for freedom both at home and abroad, and their story is an incomparable example of extraordinary courage, loyalty and selfless service beyond compare,” Lynn Fuchigami Parks, former executive director of the Japanese American Museum of Oregon in Portland testifed at a committee hearing in February.

“The fact that they fought and died for a country that had unjustly imprisoned many of them and/or their families and friends, only adds to their remarkable story.”

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