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RECOGNIZING GORDON HIRABAYASHI, RECIPIENT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM
(Extensions of Remarks - June 20, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1089-E1090]
RECOGNIZING GORDON HIRABAYASHI, RECIPIENT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF 
                                FREEDOM

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. ADAM SMITH

                             of washington

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 20, 2012

  Mr. SMITH of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Gordon 
Hirabayashi for posthumously receiving the Presidential Medal of 
Freedom for his stand against Japanese American internment following 
the attack on

[[Page E1090]]

Pearl Harbor. This award is our nation's highest civilian honor and is 
presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the 
United States.
  Mr. Hirabayashi was a Seattle native and a student at the University 
of Washington when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Shortly afterwards, 
Japanese-Americans were ordered to board buses for internment camps. In 
an act of bravery and civil disobedience, Mr. Hirabayashi, a second-
generation Japanese American, refused to board the bus.
  Mr. Hirabayashi, with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties 
Union, filed a lawsuit against the military executive order stating 
that Japanese Americans were a threat. Unfortunately, Mr. Hirabayashi 
lost the suit and was sentenced to 90 days in prison for curfew 
violation.
  In 1987, Mr. Hirabayashi's conviction was overturned after it was 
determined that there was no military reason for the internment of 
Japanese Americans. After more than four decades, the effort he put 
into protecting the rights of citizens during times of war has finally 
been realized.
  Mr. Hirabayashi passed away on January 2, 2012, at the age of 93 in 
Edmonton, Alberta where he served as a sociology professor from 1959 
until his retirement in 1983. His family will receive the Presidential 
Medal of Freedom in his honor.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues in the House of Representatives 
please join me in honoring Gordon Hirabayashi for his tireless 
commitment to justice.

                          ____________________




    

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