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 American History Museum’s Carmichael Auditorium.
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 Regimental Combat Team 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.
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.
Posted: 2 February 2011