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National World War II Museum special weekend of opening festivities for the new U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center

The Congressional Gold Medal awarded in 2011 to Japanese American, or Nisei, World War II veterans in recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments will begin its tour across the country, beginning with the National World War II Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, in New Orleans. The medal will debut there during a special weekend of opening festivities for the new U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, Jan. 12, and will remain on view through Feb. 17, before continuing on to six other cities in 2013. The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) has partnered with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the National Veterans Network to share the inspiring story of these men who fought with bravery and valor on the battlefields of Europe and Asia, even while many of their family members were held in American internment camps back in the U.S.

The medal will be accompanied by an iPad application, social-learning website and curriculum available at This educational package, available Jan. 12, was developed by the National Veterans Network in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Centered on the character values associated with Japanese American veterans—courage, respect, humility, perseverance, compassion and citizenship—these materials will provide users with a constantly growing social-learning community.

The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service veterans by the U.S. Congress Nov. 2, 2011, in recognition of their exceptional service, sacrifice and loyalty to America. The Gold Medal represents Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. A complete list of recipients is available at

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