Monday is Memorial Day, and Hawaii Island’s Veterans Cemeteries invite the public to events remember the day.
Memorial Day was initially established as Decoration Day in 1868 to honor those who died in the Civil War. Since then, it has broadened, become a national holiday, and serves to remember all those who have died in service to America in the military. It also is a day to honor all veterans.
The public is invited to take part in honoring our service people at Hilo Veterans’ Cemetery #1 at 150 Kapiolani Street on Monday, May 28, beginning at 10 a.m. Governor Neil Abercrombie is flying in from Oahu to speak as part of the event, honoring the veterans.. Mayor Billy Kenoi is also slated to attend..
The ceremony at West Hawaii Cemetery, just off Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway north of Kailua-Kona between Mile Markers 88 and 89, will begin at 11 a.m. The organizers, the Disabled American Veterans, expect more than 400 people to attend the event. There will be a 45 minute service. There will be a community pot luck luncheon following, so all are invited to come and bring a dish…although that’s not a requirement to attend. Those attending may drop people off at the cemetery, which has limited parking which will be offered to those with physical challenges. There will be shuttles to bring people up to the cemetery grounds from the lower access road and below.
This year, as last, attendees will be able to pick up the brochure about the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery which was created by Kalei Kossow as part of his Eagle Scout project. The brochure was unveiled last Memorial Day. Kossow created a map of the 60 acre cemetery that details the location of around 300 service people and their family members.
Governor Abercrombie and President Obama have ordered United States Flags statewide and nationwide to fly at half staff Monday to recognize the day and honor all veterans.