Online tribute will honor Chinese-American WWII veterans from Hawaii

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — World War II Chinese-American veterans from Hawaii will have the spotlight in an online tribute this weekend. Pamela Young reports on the broadcast by the Chinese Historical Society of America.

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Like their Nisei and Filipino brethren, Chinese-American veterans were to receive the congressional gold medal in Washington D.C. last April. But COVID-19 pushed the event back until December.

Filmmaker Montgomery Hom, whose documentary will be presented during the event, says time was of the essence.

“We are coming to the end,” said Hom. “We don’t have very many vets, no more stories to tell. It’s important that we share this, archive this with future generations absolutely.”

Hom says his research uncovered that many of the top-ranking Asians came from Hawaii.

“It’s kind of strange but why are there so many gosh-darn famous Chinese-Americans from WWII from Hawaii? Is it because you guys have special water or something? When I look at the list, you go from admiral Chung-hoon, Wah Kau Kong, Francis B. Wai, all from Hawaii. Why are there such special individuals from the islands from WWII?” Hom said.

There is someone who might be able to answer that question.

“We grew up in Hawaii with everybody being fairly equal,” said Major General Robert Lee. “It never dawned on us there would be a ceiling, so we went for it.” 

The youtube event is this Saturday, Sept 26.

To register for the event, click here.

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