We remember: Memorial service at the Nat | Sunday, May 27

They stood up for us. Let’s come out for them.

Come remember and honor our nation’s war dead, and especially those from Hawai’i, at the 24th annual Memorial Day Service at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Natatorium, the observance will be held Sunday, May 27, at 10 a.m. (Note: That’s Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.) We’ll gather in Kapiolani Park, just outside the gate of the Natatorium.

As always, it will be both a solemn and a joyful occasion. We will honor the ultimate sacrifice made by too many of our nation’s military men and women; we also will celebrate the freedoms we enjoy because they were willing to lay down their lives for us.

Representing active duty personnel at the podium will be Gen. Gary L. North, who has served in Hawai’i since August 2009 as commander, Pacific Air Forces. The general flew 83 combat missions in operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He also has commanded the air wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among other decorations and honors, he has earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with “V” device and oak leaf cluster and the Bronze Star. He will retire Oct. 1 after serving his country for more than 36 years.

Speaking for veterans will be Thomas M. Driskill Jr., who directs rural healthcare for the Department of Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System. He and his dedicated VA staff staff live Memorial Day every day. Before joining the VA, Mr. Driskill was president and CEO of Hawai’i Health Systems Corp.

It will be a special moment when we hear from Mr. Young Fun Choy, a 100-year-old member of our community who has clear and happy memories of Honolulu life in the 1920s and 1930s. He’ll tell us about hanging out at the War Memorial Natatorium with his friends more than 80 years ago, just after it was dedicated in the memory of more than 10,000 from Hawai’i who served in World War I.

An Air Force rifle detail and color guard, Hula Halau Olana, fourth graders from Waikiki Elementary School, and others will contribute their talents to a memorable occasion.

Yes, Memorial Day is about those who served and sacriced. They stood up for us. Let’s show them we remember.


What: The 24th Annual Memorial Day Service sponsored by the Friends of the Natatorium
Who: You, your family and your friends
Where: Kapiolani Park at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium
When: Sunday, May 27, 10 a.m.
Come early: A pre-ceremony kanikapila featuring Cyril Pahinui begins at 9 a.m.

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