HONOLULU (AP) — A 101-year-old World War II veteran from Hawaii has received the Congressional Gold Medal for his service.
James Lum on Wednesday received the highest award of national appreciation for distinguished achievement at Kuakini Health System’s Hale Pulama Mau Auditorium.
Lum is one of about 375 Chinese Americans from Hawaii who have been given the medal for their service in the war, KHON-TV reported. He is one of about 50 Chinese American recipients who are still alive.
“There are not many World War II veterans still living to share their experiences,” said Melvin Lum, one of James Lum’s three sons. “In our eyes, our dad is our hero.”
Eight of Lum's family members attended the medal presentation. It was the first time in more than a year that James Lum was able to see so many of his family members in person because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Lum was a corporal and auto mechanic in the U.S. Army. He served from December 1939 to October 1945 with the 298th Infantry, Hawaii News Now reported.
Lum received the medal as a part of the Chinese American World War II Veterans Recognition Project.