November 8, 2008 – Hilo, Hawaii

The storied nisei of the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regiment, were honored today during the Big Island’s Veterans Day parade in Hilo. Their motto, “Go for broke” rallied the American warriors of Japanese ancestry to acts of heroic bravery in World War II, and the regiment became the country’s most decorated combat unit in our nation’s history. Fewer than 400 men are still alive from the 100th/442nd.

The parade followed a 1.5 mile route through town, as residents lined the streets waving flags and thanking the veterans with applause.

The grand marshal of the parade was Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, the state’s adjutant general.

Many Big Island veteran organizations marched, and two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters performed an honorary flyover. Hawaii National Guard soldiers who recently returned home from deployment to Iraq, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and the Phillipines, were also honored during the parade.