A 41-mile highway will get a name change, honoring Nisei WWII veterans after Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 1509.
Dedicated on Aug. 13 at the Wy’east Middle School Performing Arts Center in Hood River, Oregon Route 35, now known as Nisei Veterans WWII Memorial Highway, runs from Hood River to Government Camp.
Nisei means second-generation in Japanese, and refers to someone who is the first American-born Japanese.
KGW8 reported there were more than 33,000 Nisei serving in the U.S. military during World War II and during the recovery. 433 of them were from Oregon and 58 were from Hood River County.
Japanese American Linda Tamura, whose father and uncle fought in WWII, told KGW8 that she was behind the bill to change the highway’s name.
“Nisei is significant because they were incarcerated and they served our country,” Tamura said to KGW8.”The goal is to have four signs, two facing south and two facing north. We would also like to have an information sign that talks a little bit of Nisei veterans.”
In a statement to Rafu.com State Rep. Dacia Grayber said, “I had the extraordinary honor this weekend of attending the Oregon Nisei Veterans WWII Memorial Highway dedication. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to champion this legislation and hope that it may be a small part in recognizing these extraordinary veterans and their families, and address the egregious and inhumane wrongs that were done to them. The Oregon Nisei Veterans World War II Memorial Highway is State Highway 35, between Hood River and Mt. Hood. Please think of these courageous and loyal veterans and their families, past, present, and future, as you travel this highway in the years to come.”
An exhibit about the Japanese Amerincans in Hood River will be created for the History Museum of Hood River County with the help from the Japanese American Museum of Oregon.
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