Archives for Veterans

Mark your calendar: Natatorium Memorial Day observance on May 29

You are invited to the 23rd ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE AT THE WAIKIKI WAR MEMORIAL NATATORIUMSunday, May 29, 10 a.m. [Note: Sunday, not Monday] Please join the Friends of the Natatorium for this poignant and meaningful ceremony, which is open to all. Covered seating will be available. The observance, sponsored by the Friends since 1989, recognizes the sacrifice of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guards and the triumph of the freedom and democratic values they fought to defend. This year’s event keynote speaker is Lt. Gen. Duane Thiessen, commander, U.S. Marine Forces Pacific. A Marine Corps rifle detail
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Categories: Events, Friends of the Natatorium, Hula, Memorial Day, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

Natatorium stalwart, veterans leader Fred Ballard has died

Sad news: A stalwart supporter of the Natatorium and one of Hawai’i’s leading activists on veterans’ issues has died. Fred W. Ballard, who suffered from pancreatic cancer, passed away on Sunday, April 17. He was 72. Fred served from 1995 until his death as a board member of the Friends of the Natatorium. He was our longtime board secretary. He was a leader and a constant source of strength to us in the fight for the preservation and restoration of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium, the official memorial to more than 10,000 soldiers and sailors from Hawai’i who served in
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Categories: Friends of the Natatorium, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

Farewell to a soldier… and a generation

America said goodbye Tuesday to Frank Buckles, the last-surviving U.S. soldier from World War I. Outside Washington, President Obama and Vice President Biden paid their respects at Arlington National Cemetery before the former corporal was carried to his grave and laid to rest with the traditional honors: The bugle call “Taps” and a volley of rifle fire. Here in Hawai’i, U.S. and state flags flew at half-staff in honor of the last doughboy – and in honor of all the brave soldiers, sailors and airmen with whom he served. Buckles died last month at his home in Charles Town, W.Va.,
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Categories: History, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

Let's honor Friends of the Natatorium board member Fred Ballard

Attention, friends and admirers of Fred Ballard, a Friends of the Natatorium director since 1995 and longtime board secretary: You’re invited to a testimonial luncheon in Fred’s honor on Sunday, Feb. 13, sponsored by the Oahu Veterans Council. This is a chance to thank Fred for all he has done in tireless, selfless service to his fellow veterans. We want to thank him for what he has done through the council, certainly, but also for his 16 years of steadfast advocacy for restoration of the Natatorium, Hawaii’s memorial to the soldiers and sailors of World War I. Luncheon attendees are
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Categories: Events, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

Mahalo, veterans!

On Veterans Day, the Friends of the Natatorium join all Americans in thanking every man and woman from Hawai’i — and from all across the nation — who has worn our country’s uniform. In war and in peace, your honorable service has made it possible for the rest of us to enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the “unalienable rights” enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. We are grateful. We thought you might enjoy on this Veterans Day seeing highlights from another occasion held to honor U.S. servicemen and women: The annual Memorial Day observance at the Waikiki
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Categories: Memorial Day, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

Just before Veterans Day? Really?

Published online today — the day before Veterans Day, of all days! — is MidWeek columnist Bob Jones’ call for demolition of the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial. Naturally, we object — not only to the sentiment, but also to the column’s repetition of baseless assertions often heard from the small, but vocal, anti-Natatorium crowd. And we object, especially, to the choice of the eve of a holiday honoring veterans to call for the destruction of a state memorial to Hawai’i veterans and war dead. Peter Apo, president of the Friends of the Natatorium and newly elected trustee of the Office
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Categories: News coverage, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

Photos from the Natatorium's Memorial Day Service

Mahalo to everyone who joined us at the Natatorium on Sunday for our 22nd annual Memorial Day observance! It was a beautiful day and a memorable morning: thought-provoking addresses by our speakers, Lieutenant General Benjamin Mixon and Kim Napier; beautiful, meaningful vocal and hula performances; the inspirational participation of our military men and women and the King’s Guard; the presence of so many veterans. Here are just a few photographs from the ceremony. To see more on Flickr, click here. For a slideshow, click here. Another set of photos is available on Picasa here. A Picasa slideshow here. Thanks again!
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Categories: Events, Hula, Images, Memorial Day, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

Join us: Memorial observance at the Natatorium on Sunday

Please join us this Sunday morning, May 30, for the 22nd annual Memorial Service at the Waikiki Natatorium. We remember Hawai’i’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines with music, hula and oratory. And we do so at the place dedicated to their memory by the people of our state. A music and hula prelude starts at 9:30 a.m. and our moving formal ceremony begins at 10 a.m. This year’s theme is “Ku pa’a i ka ho’ihi, ka ho’omana’o, me ka ho’ala,” or “Committed to Respect, Remembrance and Renewal.” Our keynote speaker, representing veterans and active duty military personnel, will be Lieutenant
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Categories: Events, Hula, Memorial Day, Uncategorized, and Veterans.

A Veterans Day tribute

The Friends of the Natatorium join today with our fellow citizens — in Hawai’i and across the country — in honoring and expressing everlasting gratitude to all who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Recalling the words of the famous World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” we shall not — ever — break faith with our veterans.
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Categories: Events, Uncategorized, and Veterans.