The city of Glendale recently announced the inaugural designation of the intersection of Isabel Street and Broadway as “Sadao S. Munemori Memorial Square” to honor Munemori, a Glendale native who died serving in World War II.
The city will host a public unveiling ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m. in front of the Veteran’s Memorial, which is located outside Glendale City Hall.
Munemori was a dedicated Army soldier who sacrificed his life in 1945 serving in World War II. The United States recognized Munemori’s heroic actions to save his fellow soldiers in Seravezza, Italy, allowing his company to successfully break the Gothic Line. Munemori was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1946, making him the only Japanese American to receive the Medal of Honor during the World War II era.
“The city proudly dedicates this intersection to a brave hero of Glendale,” Councilman Ardy Kassakhian said in a statement. “Munemori’s remarkable valor on the battlefield during World War II inspires us all, uniting us in a shared appreciation for those who put the well-being of others above all else.
“As our visitors stop by City Hall or pass by, they will be called on to educate themselves on the legacy of Sadao S. Munemori and pay their respects,” Kassakhian added.
As a second-generation Japanese American (Nisei), Munemori was born and raised in Glendale. Kametaro Munemori, Sadao Munemori’s father, was committed to seeing his children further their education. Sadao Munemori was the fourth of five children, attended Fletcher Drive Elementary School just south of the Glendale border, and graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1940. According to city archives, the Munemori family owned a vegetable farm near San Fernando Road and Glendale Avenue.
“Sadao S. Munemori Square will provide a lasting landmark of the Japanese American presence in Glendale and inspire all who pass through the intersection of the heroism and self-sacrifice of Mr. Munemori and the resilience and remarkable contributions of the entire Japanese American community,” said Kenko Sone, consul general of Japan in Los Angeles.
“The government of Japan supports various initiatives aimed at strengthening the relationship between the Japanese American community and Japan,” he added. “I hope the square naming will encourage Japanese people to visit Glendale and to understand the impact of Japanese Americans in various places, including in Glendale.”
The designation event is free to attend but RSVP is required.
First published in the November 25 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.