Matching Grant to Add WWII Veterans’ Oral Histories to “Defining Courage Exhibition”
Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) today announced it has received a $91,266 matching grant from the Department of Interior, National Parks Services’ Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program. In 2017, NPS awarded 14 grants totaling more than $1.6 million. The grant will be used to enhance GFBNEC’s “Defining Courage Exhibition” by adding curated listening stations featuring Japanese American World War II veterans’ first-hand accounts from GFBNEC’s Hanashi Oral History program.
Since 1988, the Hanashi program has documented the oral histories of Japanese American WWII veterans who served in segregated military units throughout Europe and the Pacific. The Hanashi oral history collection represents the world’s largest source of Nisei veterans’ life histories, with more than 1,200 interviews of veterans from the 100th Infantry Battalion; 442nd Regimental Combat Team; Military Intelligence Service; 1399 Engineer Construction Battalion; and related units.
Through a series of listening stations organized by subjects such as Pearl Harbor and the Loyalty Questionnaire, visitors to the highly interactive “Defining Courage Exhibition” will have access to unique primary-source content. Many of these important stories are available through GFBNEC’s website, but have not been previously available to visitors to the exhibition.
“The JACS grant will allow us to add many voices of our Nisei veterans to our ‘Defining Courage Exhibition,’ using their personal experiences to educate the public about the important lessons of World War II,” Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said. “Visitors now will be able to experience first-hand accounts of the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack, as seen through the eyes of veterans whose lives were changed forever by the historic events of Dec. 7, 1941.”
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 battlefields 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 GFBNEC’s “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.
About the JACS Grant Program
This project is funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Site Grant Program. For more information regarding the JACS grant program, please contact Kara Miyagishima, Program Manager, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, NPS, at 303/969-2885.