Memorial Day Observance at the Natatorium: Sunday, May 28

Before you go to the holiday picnic or cookout, get to the heart of the holiday.

Memorial Day is meant for remembrance of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, marines and coast guards who have given their lives in service to our nation during armed conflict.

Presentation of the colors at the 2016 Memorial Day Weekend observance.

Presentation of the colors at the 2016 Memorial Day observance at the War Memorial Natatorium. (Copyright Greg Concilla, 2016)

We will honor them all at the 29th annual Memorial Day Weekend observance at the War Memorial Natatorium, 2815 Kalakaua Waikiki. It takes place Sunday, May 28, at 10 a.m. You are invited to attend.

Those We Remember

The number of the men and women we honor on Memorial Day Weekend has now reached nearly an estimated 1.32 million. From the American Revolution to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Of those, 116,516 died in World War I, which was raging around the globe exactly 100 years ago.

More than 100 of those were from the Territory of Hawaii, which produced more than 10,000 World War I volunteers in all, a stunning number from the small population of what was then not even a state.

Our Speakers and Ceremony

We have the honor to welcome as a keynote speaker for this year’s observance retired Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady, 80, an Army helicopter pilot and commander in Vietnam and recipient of the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Armed Forces who protect us today will be Brig. Gen. Bryan E. Suntheimer, deputy commanding general (Army National Guard) of the U.S. Army Pacific.

Providing a special perspective on the World War I Centennial observance and Hawaii’s role in the so-called Great War of 100 years ago will be retired Army Col. Arthur Tulak, chair of the governor’s Hawaii World War I Centennial Task Force.

A Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam honor guard and rifle detail will present the colors, perform a 21-gun salute and offer the bugle call Taps in memory of the fallen. Hula Hālau Olana returns to continue a long Natatorium Memorial Day observance tradition, evoking the spirit of the occasion through traditional dance.

The service is deeply meaningful to all who attend: veteran and civilian, young and old.

The service is deeply meaningful to all who attend: veteran and civilian, young and old. (Copyright Greg Concilla, 2016)

Pre-service entertainment by the ukulele group 4U begins at 9:30 a.m. A large number of riders representing veterans motorcycle clubs will rumble down Kalakaua Avenue to the event, arriving shortly before 10 a.m. After the ceremony, there will be a paddle-out from nearby San Souci Beach led by the Mid-Pacific surf team.

Why Here?

The War Memorial Natatorium in Waikiki is Hawaii’s official memorial to those from Hawaii who served and those who died in World War I.

Mark your Calendar

The observance takes place Sunday, May 28, at 10 a.m., on the lawn fronting the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium at 2815 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu.

Since 1989, the Friends of the Natatorium have sponsored this annual Memorial Day Weekend ceremony in memory of Hawaii’s beloved dead from all American wars and in honor of the state’s military veterans.

Categories: Events, Friends of the Natatorium, and Memorial Day.