Today is a historic day…the Supreme Court declared DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional allowing married same-sex couples federal benefits in those states that recognize same-sex marriage. Today’s ruling is another sign that as a society we continue to strive for equality and breakdown the walls of discrimination whether based on race, sexual orientation, gender, age or religion. And, that the US government will right the wrongs of the past, albeit at a slower pace than we would like.
Forty-six years after Japanese Americans were interned during World War II, the Civil liberties Act of 1988 was signed into law by President Reagan as a formal apology to the 120,000 Japanese American’s interned. I remember how proud my mother was to get the letter, which she framed and displayed, on her dining room table. Nothing can ever make up for the emotional and financial loss endured during the internment but the acknowledgment by the President seemed to ease the shame and sorrow of this time.
Now, almost seventy years since World War II, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to my father and the other brave men who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion and the Military Intelligence Service. This is the highest civilian award and was given to these men who fought to protect our country’s freedom while their families were held in internment camps.
There is a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit titled American Heroes on display at the following institutions: (Updated 8/6/13: The exhibit at the De Young consisted of the Congressional Gold Medal and one panel of historical information. Click this link to see photo in related post.)
- De Young Museum in San Francisco: 6/29/13 – 8/4/13
- Oregon History Museum: 8/24/13 – 9/29/13
- Chicago History Museum: 10/19/13 – 12/8/13
- Holocaust Museum in Houston: 12/26/13 – 1/24/14
May discrimination be a distant memory.
Revised on 6/27/13 – the original post had the wrong date for the Holocaust Museum in Houston. The dates are correct now.