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Alhambra's 2015 Rose Parade float to honor Japanese American veterans

Alhambra's 2015 Rose Parade float will honor "Go for Broke" veterans, Japanese Americans who fought in World War II. The float, created in collaboration with the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce and the Go For Broke National Education Center, is based on the Go for Broke Monument in downtown Los Angeles.

Alhambra's float will honor the veterans who went decades without recognition, according to a statement on the city of Alhambra website. “Alhambra is very proud of all veterans, but especially those of Go For Broke since they defended our nation without being afforded any guarantee that their own freedom would be safeguarded," Mayor Gary Yamauchi said in the statement, "but in so doing paved the way for many others—including Alhambrans—to continue the fight for equality, justice and opportunity—values that are as precious today as they were 70 years ago." 

Known as “Go for Broke” soldiers—a term the soldiers coined for themselves, according to the city of Alhambra—Japanese Americans served in segregated units during the war. The downtown monument, located in Little Tokyo, is engraved with the names of over 16,000 Japanese American soldiers who served in World War II in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 232nd Combat Engineer Company, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.

Up to seven veterans will ride on Alhambra's float on Jan. 1, according to the city, including:

  • Roy Fujiwara, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
  • Susumu "Sus" Ito, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team
  • Yoshio "Yosh" Nakamura, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
  • Masao "Mas" Takahashi, 100th Infantry Battalion
  • Alhambran Tokuji "Toke" Yoshihashi, 100th Infantry Battalion

Alhambra City Council allocated in April $130,000 from the city's Public Art fund to sponsor and pay for the float, contracting Phoenix Decorating Company to design it. The purpose of participating in the parade is to "gain recognition" and "promote a positive image,” according to a funds and contract request by city staff. This will be the 87th year Alhambra participates in the Tournament of Roses parade.

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