This weekend, Americans will observe Memorial Day with dedications, parades and remembrance services to honor their war dead. Yet the recollection of war stories has often left out the experiences of ordinary, ethnically diverse Americans: a Tuskeegee pilot wanting to fly and fight for freedom; a Navajo code talker using his native language to transmit battle messages; a Mexican-American woman riveting B-29 bombers in an airplane factory; a Jewish soldier pressing human ashes into his hands to remember those who died in the Holocaust.
As you fire up the grill and pack the picnic basket, remember to join Juan Williams and guests this Memorial Day for a look at the heroism of ethnically diverse soldiers in America's wars.
Guy Louis Gabaldon, Mexican-American Veteran of the Marine Corps, recipient of the Navy Cross, he captured more than 1,000 Japanese soldiers on the island of Saipan during World War II; the 1960 film Hell to Eternity was based on his war accomplishments
Ronald Takaki, author of Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II, Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, Fellow of the Society of American Historians
Thomas H. Begay, a Navajo Code Talker during World War II, veteran of the Marine Corps, one of 33 Navajo Code Talkers who landed on Iwo Jima on Feb. 19, 1945