We owe our heartfelt gratitude for your service to the United States of America. On 11-11-11, we raised our American flags in tribute to every wounded warrior, and to everyone who paid the ultimate sacrifice. As we freely worship, meet, speak and publish, we do so because of the bloody price our veterans paid.
I write this in honor of my uncle, Sgt. Shigeo Kuba, who was killed in Leghorn, Italy, on July 14, 1941.
He died on his 21st birthday. My mom tells me that he lied about his age to enlist in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Uncle Shigeo was a tall, feisty youth who frequently scrapped like a cowboy in the saloons of Honaka'a on the Big Island.
His scrappiness was typical of the famous "Go For Broke" Nisei unit of soldiers known for their valor and sacrificeto do or die or "Go for Broke" to prove their loyalty as Americans.
On Nov. 2, 2012, The U.S. Congressional Gold Medal was presented in honor of every member, alive and deceased, of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the U.S. Military Intelligence Service.
A fraction of the survivors of the famous "Go For Broke" unit traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive our country's highest civilian honor. (The Maui News, Nov. 3, 2012).
Our local heroes demonstrated honor, loyalty, bravery and sacrifice.
We must pass on this proud legacy to the youth. Also, let us do all we can to honor and help our wounded warriors and their families, who are returning from Iraq, Afganistan and other areas of conflict as they bear the terrible pain of war.
As we struggle with today's complex economic, national and international issues, remember that our dedicated heroes believed our freedoms, guaranteed by the United States Constitution, were worth protecting at the cost of their very lives.