It’ll be a busy hour on a busy day in the midst of a busy week. But it would be well worth your time to stop by the Veterans Day observance at the War Memorial Natatorium in Waikiki.


Veterans offer respect for their comrades, living and fallen, at the 2014 Veterans Day observance at the Natatorium. (Credit: Don Machado)

The brief ceremony is scheduled, of course, for 11 a.m. this Wednesday, Nov. 11 – the traditional 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. That’s the day and time in 1918 when the armistice ending World War I took effect.

This will be the 19th annual Veterans Day commemoration at the Natatorium sponsored by Honolulu’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8616. The VFW chose the site because the Natatorium is the official memorial to Hawaii volunteers who served in that so-called Great War.

The Friends of the Natatorium will be there supporting Post 8616, along with the American Legion Riders and other veterans groups.

The Legion riders will roll in on their motorcycles shortly before the ceremony. The riders are members of the American Legion’s John R. Rowe Post 17, named for the first soldier from Hawaii killed in World War I.

<strong><p class=Poppies in the fields of Flanders in Belgium are an international symbol of World War I remembrance. (Credit: Matthew Marschner/Flickr Poppies and trenches in Dixmude, Belgium.)“>Poppies in the fields of Flanders in Belgium are an international symbol of World War I remembrance. (Credit: Matthew Marschner/Flickr: Poppies and trenches in Dixmude, Belgium.)

Why Wednesday?

Nov. 11 was originally commemorated as Armistice Day, recalling the end of the first global conflict; it is now known in the United States as Veterans Day, honoring U.S. military veterans from all wars and from peacetime service.

How to Get There

Never been to the Natatorium? A map and directions are available online.

Can’t attend?

If you can’t be there at 11 a.m., stop by the Natatorium at any time on Wednesday. Reflect and leave lei or flowers in honor of Veterans Day and the 10,000 World War I soldiers and sailors from Hawaii. The Natatorium is dedicated to every single one.

And find a way sometime on Wednesday to honor your own family and friends who have served in the armed forces.

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