We were honored to host three leaders of World War II sites in Hawaiʻi, at the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans (Club 100) Clubhouse on October 18, 2023. Our guests were Aileen Utterdyke - Pacific Historic Parks (PHP) President & Chief Executive Officer, Tom Leatherman - Pearl Harbor National Memorial Superintendent, and Sally Martinez - Honouliuli National Historic Site Superintendent.
Mark Matsunaga represented the MIS Veterans Club, and is a Board member of PHP.
Representing Club 100 were Kathi Hayashi - Treasurer and BOD Education Chair, Amy Kwong - BOD Communications Chair, Isami Yoshihara - Communications Committee member, Karleen Chinen - Dog Chapter Secretary, and Cary Miyashiro - Charlie Chapter member.
This inaugural meeting provided the opportunity for us to get to know each other, our groups' missions, and how we can plan the work ahead to share and leverage resources to deliver accurate, inviting and purposeful historical experiences. This first ever team meeting was invigorating and inspiring because through conversation and discussion, it was clear that we all have the same objective to perpetuate the memories and stories of what happened prior, during and after the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
Inaugural Meeting at the 100th Inf Bn Veterans (Club 100) Clubhouse boardroom. Front Row (L to R): Tom Leatherman, Sally Martinez and Aileen Utterdyke. Back Row (L to R): Mark Matsunaga, Isami Yoshihara, Cary Miyashiro, Kathi Hayashi, Karleen Chinen and Amy Kwong.
We are committed to holding regular meetings with this group, and look forward to welcoming National Park Rangers to our Clubhouse to absorb the history of how U.S. Army soldiers - Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJA) - were unjustly segregated to form the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate). These men ultimately proved their unconditional patriotism, and together with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, became known as the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. With the knowledge of the AJA soldiers, the park rangers can join our efforts to perpetuate their legacy by relaying their stories to the 4,000 to 8,000 visitors that tour Pearl Harbor daily.
We look forward to our next team meeting to continue to explore possibilities together.