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(Tues., Nov. 10, 2009) Manila—Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann today paid his respects to thousands of American and Filipino casualties of World War II who are interred at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, and to many thousands more who remain Missing in Action and are memorialized there.


            “We must never forget the sacrifices our military men and women have made, and continue to make, in the service of our nation,” Hannemann said. “Many Americans don’t realize that thousands of our veterans are buried in the Philippines alongside Filipino allies. As we honor our service men and women on Veterans Day, it’s very important to remember those interred and memorialized here. They came from every state in the union and fought bravely throughout the Pacific.”


            A total of 16,636 Americans and 570 Philippine Nationals who served with U.S. forces are interred at the cemetery, including 3,744 Americans whose remains have not been individually identified. In 20 instances, two brothers lie side by side. Another 36,285 Americans who remain Missing in Action, or who were buried at sea, are also honored at the memorial, which was established shortly after World War II on the grounds of the former Fort William McKinley U.S. military reservation. The deceased served in the U.S. Army and Army Air Forces, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.


Hannemann is in the Philippines to lead a Trade Mission sponsored by the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, with business development workshops sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.  In Manila, he made two economic development presentations to business groups brought together by the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the advantages of doing business in Hawaii and in the Philippines.


In addition, the mayor had a private dinner meeting with former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos and several prominent business and government leaders. Hannemann began leading trade missions with the Filipino Chamber Commerce of Hawaii in the early 1990s as the director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.


Hannemann also appeared on the very popular “Wowowee” television show, which is broadcast throughout the world to cable subscribers and is seen by many Hawaii viewers on The Filipino Channel. The mayor was introduced by host Willie Revillame, and presented an aloha shirt to him. The show can be viewed at .


Besides Manila, Hannemann is visiting Cebu City in the Visayas Region and several cities and towns in the Ilocos Region of Northern Luzon. Most of Hawaii’s earliest immigrants from the Philippines came from the Ilocos and Visayas regions, as do many recent immigrants. Honolulu has sister-city relationships with the Philippine cities of Baguio, Cebu, Laoag, Manila and Vigan.


            Hannemann will return to Honolulu on Thursday, Nov. 12.




Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928