Sunday, March 18, 2012

CGM Moment To Share

On November 2, 2011, the long awaited Congressional Global Medal (CGM) presentation was held in Washington D.C. to hundreds of Japanese American veterans who collectively fought bravely during World War II. There were fanfare, ceremony, many speeches including one by President Obama amidst applause of many well-wishers and families.

Japanese Americans fought to prove their faithfulness to the U.S. while their parents, brothers and sisters were detained behind barbed wire. For those veterans who were unable to join in the Washington event, CGM presentation moved to the local state and city levels in succession, starting in Hawaii (Dec 21), Washington (Jan 12), Utah (Feb 18), Oregon (Feb 26) and in cities of Monterey (March 4), San Diego (Mar 11) and may go on until the end of June to honor all of the veterans. Most veterans are aged over 90 and when they reflected on their brilliant past, great stories were retold, inspired by the media. This is the right time and moment – the CGM Moment to share.

The photos in question are super shots and once I saw the photos, something told me to share them with the public at large. I received permission from the owner of the photos, Dr, Koide, one of the collective recipients on November 2, 2011 in Washington D.C. Dr. Koide was assigned to the Military Intelligence Service after attending the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio in Monterey. MIS honors were delayed because of security concerns.

I became interested in his life before and after the war. A biomedical researcher and a native Hawaiian, he went to McKinley High School and the University of Hawaii. Dr. Koide earned his MS, MD and PhD from Northwestern University; he contributed over 300 research papers, helped over 30 post-doctorate candidates, including one of our mutual friends. I heard Dr. Koide inherited Dr. Hideyo Noguchi’s (1876–1928) legacy at Rockefeller University, as promoter of Dr. Noguchi’s Memorial Hall and statue on the campus. Dr. Koide received the distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Hawaii in mid 2000.

Last, but not least, Dr. Sumi Mitsudo-Koide was an internist at Minidoka, Idaho Concentration Camp. She studied at Swarthmore College and the Medical College, both in PA. She was president of Japanese American Citizens League, New York Chapter, served on Westchester County Women’s Advisory Committee and was elected to the Women’s Hall of Fame in Westchester.

Dr. Samuel Koide has been an ardent New York marathoner for many years and whenever he runs lately, Dr. Sumi Koide makes sure that he carries an envelope containing her message: “In case this man happens to suffer illness or injuries, here’s taxi fare to carry him to the nearest hospital.”

The above information is mostly gathered from sources online and if any misinterpretations were made, the blame should solely be on this blogger (with my apologies in advance).

From left to right - Major Keith Horikawa (EO and Chief of Staff, 100th Battalion, 442nd Inf.), Sumi Mitsudo-Koide, Samuel S. Koide, Lt. Colonel Albert Yazawa (Battalion Surgeon)

No comments: