On September 1, 2009 US Army Major Alan Ueoka held his promotion ceremony to Lt. Colonel at the Memorial site. Over 60 family, friends, and colleagues gathered to witness this event. Also in attendance were NJAMF Board Chairman Craig Uchida, Board Member Ray Murakami, and representatives from the Japanese American Veterans Association. This is believed to be the first promotion ceremony to be held at the Memorial.
Lt. Colonel spoke movingly of why he wanted to hold his ceremony at the Memorial. Three of his uncles served in the famed 442 RCT during WWII and were decorated for their valor. Presiding at the promotion ceremony was Major General Volpe. The General knowingly told hte audience that Colonel Ueoka is proud of his heritage and htat the Memorial honors the patriotism of Japanese Americans who died in the service of their country during WWII and of the sacrifices of the relocation camp internees. Lt. COlonel Ueoka is the Executive Assistant to Major General Volpe, Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical in Bethesda, Maryland.