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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      May 28, 2007

Release No. M-55-07





            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today led more than 1,300 people today in honoring America’s war dead at the 58th annual Mayor’s Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

            Guests included U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, U.S. Representatives Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono, Air Force Lt. General Dan Leaf of the U.S. Pacific Command and Lt. Gov. James Aiona.

Mayor Hannemann recognized seven Filipino veterans of World War II who became Oahu residents and recently received the Philippine Liberation Medal from the government of the Philippines.

In his keynote speech, Mayor Hannemann noted that the Memorial Day was set aside to remember those Americans who died in battle.

“We cannot hope to find full measure to repay them and their loved ones,” he said. “But the very least we can do is honor their memory and treasure the liberty they bought for us with their lives.”

            Law Enforcement Explorer Capt. Tiana Marie, Eagle Scout Creighton Lee and Senior Girl Scout Kristen Rita assisted the dignitaries by placing memorial wreaths at the cemetery’s Dedicatory Stone.

            Junior ROTC cadets from Moanalua, Nanakuli and Radford high schools posted the 50 state flags and the Joint Military Color Guard and the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps posted the national colors.  Representatives of numerous veterans organizations also presented wreaths and their colors.

            The Hickam Air Force Honor Guard fired a three-gun rifle volley while the solemn “Taps” was played.  The ceremony was highlighted with a 21-gun salute and the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 199th Squadron’s F-15 fighter jets flying the “Missing Man” formation.

            Radio DJ Billy V. served as master of ceremonies and the Honolulu Boy Choir, TOA and the Royal Hawaiian Band performed.

            The Mayor’s Memorial Day Ceremony is presented through the coordination and support of more than 50 government agencies, businesses and non-profit organizations and individuals.  The event is planned and conducted by the Department of Parks and Recreation.  Most of the lei adorning the graves at the cemetery were donated by Hawaii’s public school children through the coordination of the Department of Education. Most of the lei come from the Neighbor Islands and are shipped to Oahu free by Aloha Airlines.





             Department of Parks and Recreation at 692-5725


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

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