Cantwell congratulates WWII Nisei veterans on receiving nation's highest civilian honor; Auburn's Takehara among those honored

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) joined in honoring 33 World War II Japanese American veterans from Washington state with the highest civilian award in the United States.

The Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony took place this morning in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center's Emancipation Hall where hundreds of Nisei veterans from across the country were honored.

The Nisei veterans from Washington honored today hail from communities across the state, including Auburn, Bellevue, Bothell, Edmonds, Friday Harbor, Gig Harbor, Issaquah, Kent, Seattle, Shelton, Silverdale, Spokane and Vancouver.

Auburn's Daniel E. Takehara was among those honored.

The ceremony honored members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Services of the U.S. Army. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was one of the most decorated units in military history, bringing home 21 Congressional Medals of Honor, 33 Distinguished Service Crosses, 559 Silver Stars, 22 Legions of Merit, 4,000 Bronze Stars and 9, 846 Purple Hearts.

"In the face of grave injustice during WWII, the Nisei veterans fought to preserve America's free democracy," Cantwell said. "In fact, they went on to become one of the most highly decorated group of veterans in United States military history. These soldiers fought for what this country could be, even while their families lived in internment camps. In the process, they paved the way to victory in WWII and a brighter future for all."