2019 Centennial Veterans Day Parade | Grand Marshal Announcement: U.S. Army veteran Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura

The United War Veterans Council (“UWVC”) announces the first of the 2019 Centennial NYC Veterans Day Parade Grand Marshals: 

U.S. Army veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient

Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura 

JAPANESE-AMERICAN MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT TO LEAD NEW YORK CITY VETERANS DAY PARADE

U.S. Army veteran Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura to represent veterans of the Korean War at America’s premier salute to service

NEW YORK, August 20, 2019 – The United War Veterans Council (UWVC) announced Medal of Honor Recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura (U.S. Army) as one of the Grand Marshals for the 2019 New York City Veterans Day Parade.  Today’s date has particular significance for former Corporal Miyamura, as it marks the date of his release from a North Korean prisoner of war camp in 1953, after over two years in captivity.

This year’s Parade marks the centennial observation of Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day.  Miyamura is the first of this year’s five Grand Marshals, who will each represent an era of service from World War II to the present day.  The remaining Grand Marshals will be announced over the next few weeks.

The Parade will take place on New York City’s iconic Fifth Avenue, in the heart of Manhattan, on November 11, 2019.  It will feature nearly 300 marching units and over 25,000 participants from nearly 30 states, including veterans, military members, service organizations, youth cadets and top high school marching bands.  The parade will be broadcast on TV and online by WABC-TV, the nation’s most-watched television station.

Miyamura was born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico, to Japanese-American immigrant parents.  He was given the nickname “Hershey” by a teacher who had trouble pronouncing his given name, Hiroshi.  He served briefly with the famed Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team during the last months of World War II, but was discharged after the war ended.  He later joined the U.S. Army reserve.

When the Korean War began in the summer of 1950, Miyamura was called into active duty, and was deployed to Korea as a corporal.  On the night of April 24 – 25th, 1951, his unit’s position was assaulted by a vastly superior Chinese force.  Although wounded and bleeding badly, Miyamura single-handedly held off the attacking force so that the rest of his men could retreat safely, before he lost consciousness and was captured by the enemy.  During Miyamura’s time in captivity, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions — a fact that was classified “Top Secret” to protect him from reprisals.  He was released on August 20, 1953, and received the Medal of Honor from President Dwight Eisenhower in October, 1953. (Link to Medal of Honor citation below)

After his discharge from the Army, Miyamura returned to Gallup, New Mexico, where he still resides today.  He has been a lifelong supporter of his fellow veterans, and remains active in his community, particularly with local youth.

“Through his life story and his service to America, Hershey Miyamura truly embodies the spirit and values that define our great nation,” said UWVC Executive Director Mark Otto.  “We’re honored that he will be joining us in November, and we look forward to seeing him help lead the way up Fifth Avenue!”

“I’ve tried to live my life by the words, ‘Always Believe in Yourself, God and Country’” said Miyamura.  “I’m proud to join so many veterans who epitomize this philosophy, and to be a part of Veterans Day in New York City.”

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HIROSHI MIYAMURA MEDAL OF HONOR CITATION: http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/3160/miyamura-hiroshi-h.php

ABOUT THE NYC VETERANS DAY PARADE:  The New York City Veterans Day Parade is our nation’s largest event honoring service. Produced by theUnited War Veterans Council (UWVC), the Parade provides the public with the opportunity to salute our veterans and military, and raises awareness for organizations working to serve their needs. It is the centerpiece of an annual citywide effort to honor our veterans community.  The Parade features veterans groups and service providers, military units, youth and civic groups, top high school bands from across America, vintage vehicles, floats and more. It is supported by numerous sponsoring partners, including UWVC Recycling, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Fiserve, Cushman & Wakefield, Wounded Warrior Project and A+E Networks/HISTORY. For more information, visit uwvc.org/vetsday.

ABOUT THE UNITED WAR VETERANS COUNCIL:  The United War Veterans Council, Inc. (UWVC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that honors and serves veterans.  The UWVC supports and promotes a wide range of initiatives that provide vital services to our veterans community (including health, wellness and education); raises positive awareness and increases public understanding of the needs of our veterans community through major public events and promotional activities; and brings together veterans groups, community organizations, government agencies, businesses of all sizes and the general public. For more information, visit uwvc.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.