Smithsonian Hosts Annual Day of Remembrance Event

Special Screening of 442: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity Documentary
January 31, 2011

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, the National Museum of American History, and the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation will host a screening of the documentary 442: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity by director Junichi Suzuki. The screening, held to commemorate the Day of Remembrance, will take place Saturday, Feb. 19, from 2 to 4:30 p. m. in the museum’s Carmichael Auditorium. The 97-minute film will be followed by a discussion with the director and 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team veteran, Terry Shima. The event is free and open to the public.

The annual Day of Remembrance observes the 69th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt that led to the imprisonment of 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II.

The film focuses on the 442nd Infantry RCT that consisted of mainly Japanese American soldiers who fought not only against the enemy, but also against prejudice, and it reveals unknown stories of WWII. The families of many of its soldiers were subject to imprisonment in various internment camps such as Manzanar and Tule Lake in California or Poston and Gila River in Arizona. The 442nd was a self-sufficient fighting force, and fought with distinction in Italy, southern France and Germany. The unit became the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the U.S. armed forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients, the country’s highest military honor.

Suzuki used archival footage and featured interviews with several surviving veterans, including Medal of Honor recipients Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and George Sakato. The film won the 2010 Maui Film Festival Audience Award in the Special Prize Courage and Commitment category and was rated No. #1 by Yahoo Japan during the first week of January. 

The program is co-sponsored by the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, and the Japanese American Veterans Association.

Since 1997, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program provides vision, leadership and support for Asian and Pacific Islander American initiatives for the Smithsonian and works to better reflect their contributions to the American experience, world culture and the understanding of our planet and the natural world throughout Smithsonian collections, research, exhibitions, outreach and education programs. For more information, call (202) 633-2691 or visit http://apa.si.edu.

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. To learn more about the museum, check http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).

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