The city of Alhambra’s 2015 Rose Parade float entry, titled “Go for Broke,” paid tribute to the men who served in the highly decorated 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. Photo courtesy of the city of Alhambra

 By P.C. Staff

The city of Alhambra, Calif.’s Rose Parade float entry paid tribute to the Japanese American servicemen who fought in World War II as it paraded down Colorado Boulevard on Jan. 1 in the 126th annual event themed “Inspiring Stories.”

The float, created in collaboration with the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce and the Go for Broke National Education Center and built by the Phoenix Decorating Company, is based on the Go for Broke Monument in downtown Los Angeles and honors the men of 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 who served in the U.S. military during World War II. Pictured on the float were floral images of the 21 Japanese American soldiers who received the Medal of Honor, the highest civilian award given by Congress, for their actions in World War II, among them the late Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii.

Following a nationwide search conducted by the city of Alhambra and assisted by the Go for Broke National Education Center, five Japanese American veterans of World War II — Roy Fujiwara, 96, of Honolulu (442nd RCT); Susumu Ito, 95, of Boston (522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd RCT); Yosh Nakamura, 89, of Whittier, Calif. (442nd RCT); Mas Takahashi, 90, of Torrance, Calif. (100th Infantry Battalion); and Tokuji Yoshihashi, 91, of Alhambra, Calif. (100th Infantry Battalion) — were selected to ride on the parade float, along with Alhambra Mayor Gary Yamauchi and his wife, Linda.

“We are grateful to the City of Alhambra for choosing to present the veterans’ story at the 2015 Rose Parade,” said GFBNEC Chairman Bill Seki in an official statement. “Being able to share their inspirational story on such a large national showcase is a dream come true.”