It is truly regrettable and unjustifiable that, to date, there has not been issued a commemorative stamp acknowledging and honoring the Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, although they served their country with valor beyond description.
What is the cause of this resistance? I candidly wonder — does it have to do with a racial issue or is there another major issue? Why can’t the reason for this delay be revealed to the public?
The following are my main reasons why there should be a commemorative stamp honoring these brave men:
1. They proved their loyalty by volunteering to serve a country that placed most of their families in a concentrated area behind barbed-wire fences.
2. They fought in the town of San Terenzo in April 1945, and in October 1944 rescued the 211 surrounded men of the 141st Texas Regiment with a great loss to themselves.
3. They were honored by President Harry S. Truman on the White House lawn in 1946.
I witnessed this event and it was such an impressive sight to see the soldiers standing straight and tall in the pouring rain.
If President Truman honored these brave and loyal men, why can’t the postmaster general do likewise by issuing a stamp?
The issuance of the stamp in honor of these men would profit the U.S. Postal Service to a great extent. People of Japanese ancestry, as well as others, who know the background of these men will purchase the stamps. It will be very profitable for the USPS as, I am sure, happened when the cherry blossom and bonsai stamps were issued.
I have friends who have sent several email letters and ordinary letters to prompt the issuance of a stamp for these loyal and honored ex-soldiers, but to no avail. So many of the soldiers have passed on and it is now becoming a time element. Why can’t those who have fought and are still living be gratified by the issuance of a stamp before it is too late?
Why must there be a continued issuance of stamps for comic-strip characters or people we have never heard of or could care less if they are honored, yet no stamp for soldiers who deserve a much-delayed honor?
I know that the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, their families and friends will forever be grateful for the wise decision in the issuance of this stamp.
May I add that two of my brothers served in the Army and one in the Air Force.
Go For Broke and Meow!
PLEASE NOTE: JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT, I will “meow” any comments, problems, questions you may have. Please mail letter to me in C/O of The Rafu Shimpo, 701 E. Third St., Suite 130, Los Angeles, CA 90013. I will answer SELECT letters in my column.
Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.