For actor George Takei, the experience of returning to the relocation site where he and his family, along with thousands of other Japanese Americans, were interned during World War II was a moving one -- especially when he visited the memorial to Japanese American veterans in the former camp’s cemetery.
The names etched in the tank-shaped monument, Takei told us in an interview for our upcoming issue of Preservation magazine, represent “young men who went from behind American barbed-wire fences to fight with amazing heroism. The 442nd regimental combat team is the most decorated unit to come back from the entire Second World War. The American flags that covered their coffins were delivered back to their parents or their wives still imprisoned. The irony of that was just unbearable.”
The approximately 14,000 men who served in the 442nd segregated unit earned more than 4,000 Purple Hearts, 20 Medals of Honor, and an unprecedented seven Presidential Unit Citations -- and yet, as Takei pointed out, their story often goes untold. Through preservation and education efforts, groups across the country are trying to change that.... Read More →
Gwendolyn Purdom is a freelance writer for Preservation magazine. A Chicago native, Gwendolyn is passionate about the people and stories behind historic places – the quirkier the better.