Mr. Speaker and honored guests, it is a privilege to take part in this ceremony, honoring the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service of the United States Army.
As a veteran of World War II, serving as an aircraft carrier pilot for the Navy, I remember well the challenges our Nation faced as we entered the War and the sacrifices required of so many men and women as well as their families.
The brave soldiers of the 442nd Regiment had a motto - "Go for Broke" - and this motto defined the way these men approached every battle in World War II. Their heroic efforts are legendary and are evidenced in the thousands of citations, awards, and accolades bestowed on the members of this Regiment.
In fact, the 442nd Regiment was the most decorated of any unit of its size in the history of the U.S. Army. The Congressional Gold Medal we present to these American heroes today is a fitting - and long overdue - tribute to their service, their bravery, and their dedication to our country.
Senator Inouye was one of those men in the 442nd who received a Medal of Honor for his bravery and heroism. I have served with him in Congress for many years now, and we have had several opportunities to work together. I am fortunate to count him as a good friend, and I have great admiration and respect for the courage and dedication he demonstrated in the War - and that is still evident today as he serves our country in the United States Senate.
We know that there can be no peace in the world without strength, and that freedom, after all, is not free. Peace and freedom would not be possible without the willing sacrifice of young men and women who answer the call to service.
Today we honor these men of the 442nd Regiment who answered that call and whose service and sacrifice helped America prevail until victory was secured in World War II. Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude, and I am honored to be here today as we present to them collectively the Congressional Gold Medal.
Thank you, and God bless.