Robyn G. Peterson
Author and Photographer Tom Graves to Present on America’s
Nisei Veterans of World War II and the Korean War
Riverside, CA – On Thursday, September 29, 2022, 6:30 p.m. at the Mission Inn Hotel, the Museum of Riverside will host noted author and portrait photographer Tom Graves. Graves will present on the topic of a recent book, Twice Heroes: America’s Nisei Veterans of WWII and Korea. The publication includes photos of and interviews with dozens of nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) veterans of the United States armed forces who exhibited extraordinary valor, devotion, and loyalty to their country even as they faced racial discrimination before, during, and after the wars in which they served.
Graves’s profiles of surviving veterans place the conditions faced by loyal citizens in stark relief. As President Truman ultimately stated of the sacrifices of Nisei veterans of World War II, “you fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice, and you have won.” His interviews with veterans reveal stories of segregation, distrust, and loss but also memories of camaraderie, extraordinary bravery, and personal revelation.
In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 was issued for Japanese immigrants and American citizens descended from Japanese immigrants. Over 120,000 individuals in the western states were involuntarily removed from their homes and often forced to sell or abandon businesses to be unjustly detained in concentration camps throughout the West. While Japanese Americans were initially not permitted to serve in World War II combat units, the situation changed as the war continued. One segregated unit, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, was the most decorated in U.S. history. The country again called on its Nisei citizens to serve after the outbreak of the Korean war.
The presentation by Tom Graves is offered in collaboration with the Mission Inn Museum in recognition of the significant contributions of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans in Riverside’s history.
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ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF RIVERSIDE
The Museum of Riverside, a department of the city of Riverside, holds a large multi-disciplinary collection relevant to the history, culture, and natural science of the region. The Museum has a proud history of exhibitions, programs, and publications foregrounding local and regional achievement. Sites include the downtown Riverside main museum, Heritage House, Harada House, and the Harada House Interpretive Center (forthcoming). All sites except Heritage House are temporarily closed for renovation or rehabilitation. Heritage House is open Friday-Sunday for guided tours; pre-registration for tours is required via Eventbrite.