I take this opportunity to share with you the most recent updates on the Congressional Gold Medal planning:
The design process with the US Mint has officially begun. NVN with Christine as its official representative will serve as the authorized entity that will work with the US Mint on the design of the Congressional Gold Medal. The US Mint will commission several designers to come up with 3-4 designs to represent the contributions made by the 100th, 442nd and MIS. NVN’s Gold Medal Design Committee chaired by MG Jim Mukoyama will work with our NVN organizations to review the designs and to select a preferred design that best represents the significance of the 100, 442 and MIS. The US Mint has advised that it will take until June 2011 to come up with the final design as it requires approvals from the Fine Arts Commission, Citizen Advisory Coinage Commission and the Secretary of Treasury. Once approved, production for the medal will start in June 2011 for 8 weeks, which places completion somewhere around August 2011. The timeline is below:
- November 2010 – US Mint announces guidelines for the Mint designers
- December 2010 – US Mint commissions designers
- January – February 2011 – Designers work on 3-4 designs
- Late Feb or early March 2011- Designs will be shared with NVN
- April 2011 – US Mint sends designs to two commissions: Fine Arts Commission and Citizen Advisory Coin Commission
- May 2011 – US Mint Director sends it to the Secretary of Treasury
- May or June 2011- Approval of CGM design
- June 2011 – Production begins for 8 weeks
- August 2011 – Congressional Gold Medal (original) and replicas completed
Two-day commemoration/Ceremony date
The National Veterans Network is planning a two-day event in Washington DC that includes memorial services to remember the KIA and to those who have passed on at both the National World War II Memorial and the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism. A wreath presentation is also being planned at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery. The second day will be the Congressional Awards Ceremony hosted by Congress in the morning and a national gala dinner will be held serving as the culmination of the two day affair.
Regarding the ceremony date, the awards ceremony cannot take place until the US Mint finishes the design and production of the Congressional Gold Medal. Given this, NVN will seek a ceremony date in the fall of 2011, most likely in early October 2011. While we will strive for the earliest possible date, the final decision will be made by Congress.
NVN has set up a Veterans Registry on its web site in the “ceremony” section. (www.nationalveteransnetwork.com) The purpose of the registry is to determine the interest of veterans, next of kin and family members who wish to attend the Washington DC events. Thanks to outreach done by several NVN organizations, there has been a high volume of registrants. We continue to receive a steady flow of registrants each week.
As of November 10, 2010, the following numbers have registered.
106 Next of Kin of veterans who were killed during the war or have passed on
917 Total people registered, majority of whom are family members. Also includes the “maybes”
The final decision on who attends (living veterans, next of kin, family etc) and how many can attend (based on venue) is determined by the Speaker of the House. The veteran’s registry was designed for planning purposes so that we can provide the Speaker with concrete numbers of those interested in attending the ceremony. It is our understanding that that all living veterans will be invited. NVN will share the registry numbers and interest level with the Speaker in hopes that others will be invited, however, the final decision will be made by the Speaker’s office. While the ceremony attendance is unknown, please know that invitations to the memorial services and gala dinner will be extended to all parties so that we can collectively honor and commemorate this historic occasion.
Honor Flight, a nonprofit organization who flies veterans to Washington DC to see “their” memorial, has agreed to partner with NVN for the Congressional Gold Medal event. Honor Flight is seeking to fly 100th, 442nd and MIS veterans to Washington DC for free by providing airfare and accommodations and an opportunity to see the National WWII Memorial. Living 100th, 442nd and MIS veterans who are registered with NVN will be considered by Honor Flight. If you know of veterans who would be interested in attending the ceremony, we highly encourage you to register by going to NVN’s web site – www.nationalveteransnetwork.com.
We need your help – please help us by spreading the word to everyone about the Congressional Gold Medal. We are seeking 100th, 442nd and MIS veterans who would be interested in attending next year’s events. We know that many are not active with veterans or civil organizations and outreach beyond NVN will be necessary. Please share the news, and encourage them to go to the NVN web site to register. Or please have them contact Metta Tanikawa (firstname.lastname@example.org), Terry Shima (email@example.com) or Christine Sato-Yamazaki (Christine@csy-assoc.com)
Thank you for this opportunity to share this update with you.
For veterans who are receiving this email, we express our deepest appreciation to you for all that you’ve done.
Thank you for your service.