Exhibit Pays Tribute to Hawaii's Medal of Honor Recipients

(KHNL) -- When Shizuya Hayashi looks at his portrait, he does not see a hero. "To me, a lot of boys deserved it too, not only me," says Hayashi, a Medal of Honor recipient.

The World War II veteran received the nation's highest honor for valor under fire for his bravery during combat in Italy. He explained, "We were on patrol looking for the enemy." Hayashi was just a young man from the sugar plantation town of Waialua. "When you see all your friends getting wounded, you just go ahead and do what you have to do," explained Hayashi.

Hayashi's portrait is among two dozen featured at the Hawaii State Art Museum including World War II veteran and U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye.

And so many more heroes the community is not as well acquainted with such Barney Hajiro from Waipahu. "I feel proud of it now. I came down here, it's an honor for the Hawaii people," said Hajiro.

While an army private Hajiro displayed courage while fighting in France during World War II.

He and Hayashi are both in their late 80's and part of an elite group of heroes, whose numbers are dwindling.

But hopefully these portraits will serve as a lasting testament to their courage, commitment and character.

Traits Hayashi hopes serve as an inspiration to today's troops. He said, "I hope they follow the position we did and keep America safe."