WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced, will honor Sherman M. Kishi for being part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the United States.
During World War II, Kishi, a Japanese-American from Livingston, volunteered his service as a translator and interpreter to aid the Allied war effort in the Pacific Theater. After the ceremony in the U.S. Capitol complex, Cardoza will meet privately with Kishi and thank him for his service and sacrifice.
In 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans were evacuated into "War Relocation Camps" across the country. Sherman Kishi, only 17 at the time, and his family were forced to leave their home and farm in Livingston and were detained at the Merced Assembly Center. They were later transferred to the Granada War Relocation Center in Colorado. After completing high school at the camp, Kishi volunteered to serve in the U.S. military as a translator and interpreter. He was initially sent to the Philippines. After the war ended, he assisted in the U.S. occupation efforts in Tokyo.
"Sherman Kishi is an exceptional American who demonstrated bravery, valor, and dedication for the United States in World War II," Cardoza said in a news release. "Mr. Kishi fought discrimination at home and fascism abroad, and his sacrifice during our nation's time of crisis exemplifies true patriotism."
Today, Congress will hold a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring the 100th Infantry battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service of the United States Army. The 442nd was an all-Japanese-American unit, and the families of many of its soldiers were subject to internment during the war.
The Congressional Gold Medal, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is the highest civilian award in the United States. Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.
Each medal honors a particular individual, institution, or event for an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States.