Spark M. Matsunaga

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Spark Masayuki Matsunaga

The USIP writes that: "While many Americans may be remembered and honored for their valor in combat, fewer are remembered for what they have done for peace. Spark M. Matsunaga (1916–90) is remembered for both. A decorated combat veteran of the U.S. Army's all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II, Matsunaga was a lifelong peacemaker as well as a soldier.

"Matsunaga served the people of Hawaii as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1963 to 1977 and as a U.S. senator from 1977 until his death in 1990. Believing from his youth that peacemaking is as much an art as making war, and that it can be learned, he introduced legislation calling for the establishment of a "national academy of peace." In 1979, Matsunaga was named chair of the Commission on Proposals for the National Academy of Peace and Conflict Resolution. The U.S. Institute Peace Act of 1984 was based upon the commission's findings and recommendations. After the Institute's founding in 1984, the senator was a tireless supporter of its work and an invaluable guide, friend, and mentor to the Board of Directors and staff." [1]

In the late 1970s he helped establish the National Peace Foundation.

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  1. History: Selected Biographies, USIP, accessed February 12, 2008.