Back row: Fountain Valley School District Superintendent Mark Johnson, Kazuo Masuda Middle School Assistant Principal Matt Ploski, Fountain Valley School Board member Jim Cuneen, Fountain Valley Police Department Chief Matt Sheppard, Larry Crandall, Fountain Valley City Manager Rob Houston, Kenneth Hayashi. Front row: Robert M. Wada, James Stiles, Kazuo Masuda Memorial VFW Post 3670 Commander James Nakamura, David Uyematsu, Timothy Murray, Kazuo Masuda Middle School Principal Jennifer Morgan, Fountain Valley School District School Board President Sandra Crandall, Fountain Valley City Councilmember Kim Constantine, Norio Uyematsu, guest speaker Master Sergeant Nick San Nicolas, USMC. (Photo by Patti Hirahara)

By PATTI HIRAHARA

Kazuo Masuda Middle School in Fountain Valley presented an impressive program on Nov. 9 in which 270 eighth-graders and guests, totaling 300, assembled to honor WWII Distinguished Service Cross recipient Sgt. Kazuo Masuda, for whom the school was named.

A native son of Orange County, he was born on Nov. 30, 1918 in Westminster and died while serving his country in Toscana, Italy on Aug. 7, 1944.

S/Sgt. Kazuo Masuda (1918-1944).

Principal Jennifer Morgan opened the program and introduced the special guests as well as guest speaker Master Sergeant Nick San Nicolas, USMC.

The Kazuo Masuda Associated Student Body did a wonderful job in presenting his story with ASB President Addison Phan welcoming the guests and leading the Pledge of Allegiance, ASB Secretary Christopher Nguyen offering a history of Veterans Day and a brief bio of Sgt. Masuda, a special presentation on “What Is a Veteran” by the ASB, a moment of silence led by Assistant Principal Matt Ploski, and the national anthem performed by the Masuda Monarch Choir.

Seventh-grader Kate Van Boerum performed “Taps” on the trumpet to conclude the one-hour program.

Kazuo Masuda Middle School was dedicated on Dec. 17, 1975 and the Kazuo Masuda Memorial VFW Post 3670 donated the Sgt. Kazuo Masuda Japanese Memorial Garden, located at the school, on June 7, 1977.

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