Congressional Gold Medal

The exact date for the award ceremony is still pending with the new Speaker of the House, but it will likely be held in November 2011.Nationwide, we have 356 veterans registered and 3,046 family members registered. For Oregon and SW Washington, we have 12 veterans registered to attend the ceremony in DC and 130 widows/next of kin of KIA and family members registered. All eligible veterans have been notified of the free Honor Flight to Washington, DC. Historically, the Honor Flight has flown WWII veterans “plus one” to and from Washington, DC. Honor flight has committed to fly the veterans, but the “plus one” aspect of free flight is still being negotiated.

The US mint has provided medal designs and the National Veterans Network (NVN) agreed on the top preferences after inputs by veterans nationwide. A final input by veterans/organizations will be completed prior to minting. The final mint design decision will be made by the Secretary of Treasury.

Anyone can order the replica medals which will be a 3″ bronze medal with a wooden case for $50. Currently, there is no limit on how many medals a family can order. In order to get a good estimate on how many we should reserve, please let me (Setsy) know by email: Larouche@msn.com or by telephone 503-698-4656 by June 3, 2011.This will help the US Mint get an idea how many to produce/mint.

Under the leadership of Christine Sato-Yamazaki, the NVN met in Seattle on April 15 and 16 with representatives from Hawaii, Washington, DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Seattle and Portland. The meeting was held in NVC Memorial Hall. Yuzo Tokita and his committee did a wonderful job hosting the meeting and providing us with most delicious foods! The National Public Relations campaign for CGM will be launched on May 1 in connection with Asian Pacific Heritage Month.

The Blue Ribbon Committee is actively raising funds from corporations and foundations. This will help fund the huge celebration in DC to include but not limited to visiting the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery; Memorial Service at the WWII Memorial; Wreath tribute at the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism; and CGM Gala Dinner.

After the celebration in DC, we plan to host a luncheon here in Portland to honor our veterans and extend our celebratory congratulations! The next NVN planning meeting will be held in DC on July 22 & 23.

By Setsy Larouche

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