California Gov. Jerry Brown has voiced support for a U.S. commemorative postage stamp that would honor the patriotism of Japanese American World War II soldiers. Brown’s letter was sent to U.S. Postmaster General Megan Brennan in time for Memorial Day, as the nation remembered those who died while in service in the U.S. Armed Forces. During World War II, more than 800 Japanese Americans soldiers perished.
“On behalf of the State of California, I respectfully urge you to approve a commemorative stamp to honor the patriotism exhibited by Japanese Americans during World War II,” Brown wrote in his May 23 letter to Brennan.
“I urge you to issue this stamp in time for next year’s 75th anniversary, remembering the order of internment of Japanese Americans. This stamp will help preserve the memory and help educate and promote dialogue on this important part of our history for generations to come,” Brown added.
Executive Order 9066, signed in February 1942 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, led to the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans during the war.
This letter is a first from a state governor. Other letters of support for the Nisei Soldiers Stamp campaign have been sent by numerous city, county and state officials. This year, 32 members of Congress joined California Representatives Mark Takai and Judy Chu in a letter that backs the stamp.
“This Memorial Day, we are grateful for Governor Brown’s bold stance in support of this historic stamp subject,” said Wayne Osako, co-chair of the “Stamp Our Story Campaign,” which is spearheading the nationwide effort. “We encourage governors and members of Congress to join Governor Brown and take a stand for this legendary group of American soldiers.”
The 11-year campaign continues to push forward as the Postal Service considers the proposal. If issued, the stamp would be the first to feature a historical subject from the Asian American Pacific Islanders community.
Despite the incarceration, more than 33,000 Japanese Americans enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. Many enlisted saying that they did so to show their American patriotism. Most served in the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team, as well as the Military Intelligence Service. These groups are considered among the most decorated units in U.S. military history.
Supporters are being asked to contact their governors by email and phone, which can be found on each governor’s website. Also, people are being encouraged to continue to reach out to members of Congress to write their own letters of support, which can be found on the campaign’s website at www.StampOurStory.org.