May 25th, 2015 by Dennis O'Shea
If you were there on Sunday for the annual Memorial Day Weekend observance at the Natatorium, here’s a second look with lots of photos. If you couldn’t make it, here’s just a hint of what you missed:
Ceremony Recap–Lead-off speaker Brig. Gen. Christopher J. Mahoney, deputy commander of U.S. Marine Forces Pacific.
He’s a topgun fighter pilot and combat veteran with more than 5,000 hours of flight time logged, including more than 4,000 in F-18s.
His career, his demeanor and his message make you proud to be an American.—Betsy Merritt, deputy general counsel of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She spoke with deep conviction of “the importance of preserving the places such as [the Natatorium] that contribute to the memory of those who gave their service — and their lives — in defense of our country.”
“May we never forget them, and may we never forget what they did,” she said of those who have died. “Because what they did made us, as a nation, who we are today.”
–Keynote speaker Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii. A Hawaii National Guard captain and combat veteran, she spoke movingly of “eating chow together at the mess hall” with friends and fellow soldiers whose memorial services she later had to attend. Needless to say, she had many of those present – and especially her fellow veterans – in tears.
–And the kids. Oh, the kids. Our Young Marine logistical support and the dancers of Hula Halau Olana. Hope for our future; no doubt about it.
We should all spend time on Memorial Day Weekend meditating on the sacrifice of those who go to war and don’t come back.
There are Many to Thank
Mahalo to all who joined us for the Memorial Day observance at the Natatorium, and to those who could only be there in spirit. Mahalo also to the service members, veterans, performers, and volunteers who made this extraordinary event so special.
By the way, there are many more photos of the Memorial Day observance online. Enjoy!
[A special mahalo to photographer Greg Concilla for a spectacular job — again — documenting our annual event.]