American heroes with a special Texas connection are in our midst this week….along with the Congressional Gold Medal, awarded to them as a group, in 2010, for their valor 69 years ago in World War II.
They are the Japanese American soldiers, who liberated much of the world while their own families were locked up in internment camps at home…men who liberated Dachau, and in a sacrificial banzai charge in the mountains of northern France rescued the Lost Battalion-Alamo Regiment of the Texas 36th. They suffered more than 800 casualties in that single rescue.
Three years ago, Congress awarded its civilian Gold Metal to honor the 442nd RCT, the 100th Infantry, and the MIS Military Intelligence in the Pacific the so-called Nisei, American-born of Japanese heritage, who were kept in segregated units under white command.
Houston claims several of these warriors, so the Smithsonian has lent the medal for viewing here at Holocaust Museum Houston. The heroes here too, for the opening, their bonds forged in war not forgotten. Nor should we forget.