First Virtual Tribute to Honor Japanese American WWII Veterans
Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) today announced its first national livestream event marking the 21st anniversary of the iconic Go For Broke Monument on Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 12 p.m. PST. The tribute, which will be accessible online free of charge, will honor Japanese American World War II veterans and their contributions to democracy. The event is presented, in part, by Presenting Sponsor Richard and Patricia Shinto.
Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and David Ono, ABC7 News Anchor and member of GFBNEC Board of Directors, will host the live presentation, which will be available via Facebook, YouTube and www.goforbroke.org. Kisa Ito, granddaughter of Lawson Iichiro Sakai, 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran, will give the keynote address. The program will include interviews with veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd RCT and Military Intelligence Service as they reflect on their wartime experiences, the nature of patriotism, and the relevance of their experiences in today’s society.
“We, of course, would rather gather in person for this important celebration, but to ensure the safety of our veterans, families and supporters during the COVID-19 pandemic, we will livestream our 21st anniversary event,” Maki said. “We can now share this important chapter of American history across the nation and worldwide, inspiring new audiences with the veterans’ legacy of valor, honor and equality.”
To provide much-needed support for its educational programming and initiatives, GFBNEC is offering several opportunities to support the veterans’ legacy:
- “Honor a Veteran” social media campaign: Supporters can create digital tributes to veteran family members and loved ones with photos to be displayed during the pre-show. Higher tiers will include additional posts of the veteran’s image via social media.
- Veteran Floral Tribute: In special tribute to our veterans, decorative potted plants, each with the name of the veteran and his donor patron, are placed around the Monument (date to be confirmed)
- Opportunity Drawing: Cash Prize drawing will take place on SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 2020 during the livestream broadcast. Winners need not be present to win. Tickets must be received in the Go For Broke National Education Center office by 5 p.m. Friday, June 5, 2020.
- Monument Anniversary Tribute Sponsorships: All sponsors will receive recognition as a Monument 21st Anniversary Tribute Sponsor in the livestream program and on the GFBNEC website.
“During these economically challenging times, we rely on our supporters more than ever to help share the Nisei veterans’ story, which brought new strength to our multicultural society,” Maki said. “GFBNEC has eliminated all non-essential expenses and is seeking alternative sources of funding. However, continued and increased contributions are critical for our continued success and viability.” For more information on GFBNEC’s educational initiatives, or for questions about the virtual event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 328-0912.
The Go For Broke Monument, located in Los Angeles’ historic Little Tokyo district, honors more than 30,000 Americans of Japanese descent who served the U.S. during WWII, including many who were drafted from incarceration camps on the mainland. First unveiled in 1999, the Monument’s polished black panels are inscribed with the names of more than 16,000 men and women who served with distinction despite widespread suspicion and prejudice.
Note to Media: “Go For Broke” was the motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated Army unit composed of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland. The term was Hawaiian slang for “shooting the works,” or risking everything for the big win in gambling—as the Nisei soldiers did while fighting in the field in WWII and facing prejudice at home in the U.S.
About Go For Broke National Education Center
Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that educates the public on the valor of Japanese American veterans of World War II and their contributions to democracy. Our goal is to inspire new generations to embody the Nisei veterans core values of courage, sacrifice, equality, humility and patriotism. Founded in 1989, GFBNEC maintains the Go For Broke Monument and the interactive Defining Courage exhibition in downtown Los Angeles, as well as extensive oral histories and archives, education and training programs, and other initiatives. For more information, please visit www.goforbroke.org.