One hundred years ago this month, the cataclysmic battles of World War I still raged on the oceans, in the air, and certainly on No Man’s Land between the Allied and German trenches on the Western Front of Europe.
One hundred years ago this November, the Great War, thankfully, ended. More than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians had died in four years.
More than 100 of those dead were volunteers from Hawaii, a territory – not yet even a state – that had produced more than 10,000 volunteers, far more than anyone had expected from such a tiny population.
This Memorial Day weekend, we remember America’s heroic dead from all her wars.
But we particularly remember those who perished exactly 100 years ago in that first global conflict.
And we pay special homage to those who left Hawaii to fight and to die.
You are invited
You are invited to the 30th annual Memorial Day observance at the War Memorial Natatorium, 2815 Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki.
The service takes place Sunday, May 27, the day before the official holiday. A musical prelude by the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, Band begins at 9:30 a.m. The commemoration service begins at 10 a.m.
There will be participants from three federal service branches, the Hawaii National Guard, and veterans organizations, including veterans motorcycle groups.
The Natatorium opened in 1927, less than 10 years after World War I, as Hawaii’s official monument to all those from the islands who served in that conflict. It is an appropriate place to observe every Memorial Day, but none more so than this Memorial Day. That’s because this is the centennial year of the Armistice that ended fighting in WWI, the so-called War to End All Wars.
Mark your calendar
Again: The observance takes place Sunday, May 27, at 10 a.m., on the lawn fronting the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium at 2815 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu.
We encourage you to bring your children. Help them introduce themselves to a veteran or active service member in attendance. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach keiki to express their appreciation for sacrifice and service.
Who we are
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.
The Friends are proud again this year to welcome as co-sponsors the Hawaii World War One Centennial Task Force, appointed by Gov. Ige to plan and coordinate the state’s centennial observances.