The Red Bull Newsletter • July 1993:

"The Last Parade"
442nd Regimental Combat Team
50th Reunion • Honolulu HI • 24-29 Mar 1993

34th Infantry Division Association
 
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   Over 3,000 attended this Anniversary Reunion, over half came for other that the State of Hawaii, spread over nine hotels. Highlights of the Reunion included Company Night, gathering of attendees by Company/Battery; Aloha Banquet; golf tournament; Anniversary Banquet; Anniversary Parade of 3.2 miles, a long parade for many of the 442nd; and the Memorial Service at the Punchbowl Cemetery of the Pacific.

   The following is an article by one who wished not to be identified which was typical of those thousands who witnessed the parade in downtown Honolulu; and was published in the Honolulu newspaper.

THE LAST PARADE

   The sun was shining. The sky was a vibrant blue. There were only a few clouds scattered about. A soft breeze kept the temperatures tolerable. You could say, it was a perfect day for a parade.

   People were excited, kids running about, parents looking for the "perfect spot" to view the parade. Only te elderly knew the importance of the parade and they came to pay tribute. They had a solemn look abot them - not sad, but a look of anticipation.

   That's when it struck me. I was about to witness a major event in history, a tribute to the heros of World war II. At a TIME WHEN Americans were looking for heroes, the timing was perfect.

   In the distance, we could hear the parade approaching - the thumping sounds of drums and people cheering. In our minds we were wondering if members of the 442 were leading the parade. We were wrong, but not disappointed. The Pearl City High Scool Marching Band led the way. Actuialy, it was quite fitting - tomorrow's leaders were the prlude to yesterday's heroes.

   The various Armed Forces' bands and military vehicles passing by heightened our anticipation of the gallant 442! Then, the moment came.

   The banner read, "442 R.C.T." (Regimental Combat Team). There, in all their glory, came the men of the 442 - the "GO FOR BROKE UNIT" - the unit that I grew up with, the unit that helped secure my future - the unit that paved the way for racial equality. Most of them never realized this in battle. They just wanted to prove their loyalty to their country. AND THEY DID ... WITHOUT QUESTION.

   By this time I was crying; I dont really know why. I was proud to be an American. I was proud to be of Japanese descent. I was proud to be there. I was proud.

   When I looked around, everyone was crying. People were cheering, applauding and waving. The old gladiators still marched proudly in their humble ways. Some even looked embarrassed about the response the public was giving them.

   I saw men in their late 60s, 70s, and early 80s with their head held high, walking down Kalakaua. Some of them yelled, "GO FOR BROKE!" That drove the crowd into a frezy of American patriotism. One elderly soldier was so exhausted, but his face was set in grim determination to complete the march. He was assisted by two other comrades. That was probably the same spirit they fought with and held them together.

   I only hope that soldier finished ... The Last Parade ...........

The Red Bull Newsletter; July 1993. Publ: 34th Infantry Division Association, Johnson IA 50131
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