The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium is many things: recreation facility, competition venue, gathering space, cultural icon. It is also, first and foremost, a memorial to those who served our nation, especially those from Hawai’i who served in World War I.
It was built as a memorial to warriors, and opened as a memorial 86 years ago this month. The beautiful Beaux-Arts-style ocean pool still stands as a memorial, even though as a recreation facility it awaits preservation, restoration and reopening.
A memorial is a living thing. Its meaning is expressed in the interactions between the place itself and the people who visit to remember and to honor those who have gone before.
The Friends of the Natatorium work diligently to keep those interactions going. We have held a solemn Memorial Day observance at the site for 25 years. Our friends at Veterans of Foreign War Post 8616 have gathered at the Natatorium on Veterans Day annually for 16 years, and we join them then.
But shouldn’t we remember every day? Shouldn’t we honor veterans every day? Yes: We think so too.
Be a Natatorium Bugler!
That’s why we’re organizing a cadre of committed volunteers to sound Taps at the Natatorium every sunset, 365 days a year. And you can be one of those volunteers.
Trained buglers are especially welcome, of course. But anyone – including you – can help us make this happen. Thanks to a relatively new innovation called the Ceremonial Bugle, Taps can be sounded with dignity even when a trained musician cannot be present. We envision a solo “bugler,” dressed sharply, appearing at sundown to “play” taps with our special bugle. You can be a member of this corps.
Sign Up Now
We’re organizing this new daily ceremony now and hope to start soon. Interested? We’d love your help. Please send an email message with the subject line “Taps bugler” to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get back to you soon with more information.
On behalf of those we honor: Mahalo.