The NVMC Mission
Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, guided by the values of Japanese-American veterans of World War II and inspired by their valor, will perpetuate the legacy of these Nisei veterans by nurturing the community's youth, supporting care and respect for the community's elderly and promoting an understanding about the history, values and culture of Japanese-American soldiers which contributed to their heroic military accomplishments as well as their continued contributions to the community and nation.
The NVMC Vision
Nisei values that resulted in heroic concern and sacrifice for community and nation, loyalty to family, friends and country, and patriotic valor in World War II will be embraced by all generations and demonstrated in civil society at all levels.
Memorial centers are typically filled with marble and statuary.
Ours is different. It is a living memorial that reflects the sentiment of many of our veterans: once you experience war - and death - you have a deeper appreciation of life.
We reflect that appreciation for life through our innovative intergenerational center. Here, preschoolers and senior citizens enjoy daily interactions. The activities can be as simple as blowing bubbles, and as exciting as a joint excursion to the Maui Ocean Center.
VALUES AND VALOR
Our mission reflects the values of the Nisei veterans by nourishing lives that are just unfolding, nurturing lives well lived, and teaching our youth about the valor and sacrifice of the Nisei soldiers who rose above prejudice and distrust to serve their country with unsurpassed honor and bravery.
PERPETUATING THEIR LEGACY THROUGH EDUCATION
Our Education Building (scheduled completion: June 2010) will include a classroom where we will teach school children and youth groups about the Nisei soldiers, using artifacts from the adjoining archive room.
Through audio- and videotaped interviews, wartime photos, letters home from the battlefront, and family scrapbooks, we will bring alive the fear that engulfed the Japanese-American communities in Hawaii in the aftermath of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and explore how the heroics of the Nisei soldiers were important first steps towards equality and civil rights in our country.
With a tip of the hat to the 100th Infantry Battalion's motto of "Continuing Service," our Center is committed to being a contributing member of our community for generations to come.
World War II
Stars and Stripes cartoonist
"No combat unit in the Army could exceed (the Japanese American units) in loyalty, hard work, courage, and sacrifice....
A lot of us in Italy used to scratch our heads and wonder how we would feel if we were wearing the uniform of a country that mistreated our families.
Most of us came to the conclusion that we would be pretty damn sulky about it, and we marveled at those guys who didn't sulk... and showed more character and guts per man than any 10 of the rest of us...We were proud to be wearing the same uniform."