LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An American flag hanging over a museum exhibit honoring the Japanese who fought with the USA in World War II has been stolen.
The inexplicable theft at the Go For Broke Museum and Monument (160 N. Central Ave) was captured on video. The monument has stood at this location for 19 years without incident.
Two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, about half of the 120,000 Japanese living on the west coast were ordered into internment camps.
A year later, it was determined we needed many in that group to fight alongside with US forces against the enemy.
Thousands volunteered to help the country that had locked them up. The exhibit honors their sacrifice and patriotism.
“These guys. They fought with honor. They were in an internment camp,” says Robin Tyus.
He told KCAL9’s Greg Mills he greatly admires these soldiers he never met. Tyus said he learned about this part of American history on daily walks past the museum.
Tyus said he finds it’s hard to believe anyone would steal the American flag — here of all places given the significance of who it was honoring.
The Japanese soldiers fighting for American had the motto “Go For Broke” for which the museum and monument are proudly named.
The suspect who stole the flag wasn’t captured — but was captured on surveillance video.
While a picture can say 1,000 words, everyone to a man Mills spoke to pretty much had the same sentiment about the theft.
“Despicable,” says Tyus. “That is really despicable.”
Historians said 16,000 people of Japanese heritage enlisted in the World War and defended our and their adopted country admirably. And stole their flag.
“I’ve lived here for 15 years and I’ve never, ever, have experienced something like that, them stealing the flag,” Tyus says.
Their flag, too.
The CEO of Go For Broke wrote, “We’re disappointed that our flag was taken although we don’t think there’s any evidence of ill intent toward our veterans.”
The Japanese fighting for America were war heroes — in fact, two divisions — the 442nd and 100th are among the most-decorated ,military units for their size and length of service.
For more about Go For Broke, click here.