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Memorial Day services in Puna, Hakalau to honor the fallen

Puna Hongwanji Mission in Keaau and the Hakalau Jodo Mission are sponsoring two separate Memorial Day services open to the public at 10 a.m. May 27 in honor of fallen service members from their respective districts.

The missions want the community to remember the men who gave their lives for freedom, peace and democracy.

Puna Hongwanji’s service honoring Puna District veterans will take place in its Centennial Memorial Garden fronting the temple in Keaau.

The garden’s silver granite monument was erected in 1947 under the guidance of the Rev. Jukaku Shirasu. The former Olaa Hongwanji Young Buddhist Association Council, comprised of members from Kapoho. Pahoa, Mountain View and Olaa, coordinated the mission’s first Memorial Day service.

Richard Imai was the council president at that time. About 2,000 people were in attendance, including a Hawaii National Guard honor guard, ministers and religious leaders of various denominations, the Hawaii County Band and the commanding officer of Kilauea Military Camp, who delivered the main address.

The Memorial Day program remains an annual project by the kyodan of Puna Hongwanji. There will be a prelude before this year’s service at 9:45 a.m. featuring the Hawaii County Band led by band master Paul Arceo. The guest speaker will be retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. James “Kimo” Wheeler.

Families, relatives and friends of veterans from the Puna District who were killed in action are encouraged to attend.

Veterans who will be remembered are:

World War II

Stanley Cabral, Yuzo Hayashida, John Hermandez, Seiji Higa, Isamu Kanetani, Yutaka Kawamoto, Morio Mizumoto, Frank Mugihira, Shoichi Nakahara, Tadao Nakamura Mitsuru Ochiai, Eishin Oshiro, Seikichi Oshiro, Kazumi Tsutsui and Alfred Veriato.

Korean War

David Aspili, Julio Figueroa, Yoshimi Fukumoto, Isacc K. Hale, Koichi Moriwaki and Paul K. Ura.

Vietnam War

Moses I. Kuahiwinui Jr. George G Luis, Gilbert Olivar, Hayward K. Peleioholani and George S. Salema.

Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts

Ray M.J. Fuhrmann II.

For more information, call the temple at 966-9981.

The Hakalau Recreational Council, under the leadership of Jack Ouye, Waichi Ouye and Masa Chinen, built the veterans memorial in Hakalau in May 1961 to honor the veterans who sacrificed their lives from the Hakalau-Ninole area.

The Hakalau Jodo Mission is hosting this year’s service at the Hakalau Veterans Park, with guest speaker Jimmy Enocencio.

Service members to be honored are:

World War I

Thomas Smith.

World War II

Onso Chinen, Hiroyuki Hiramoto, Isamu Ikeda, Yasuo Kaneshiro, Yoshitaka Kataoka, Satoshi Matsuoka, Toshiaki Morimoto, Hiroshi Motoishi, Saburo Nakazato, Masayoshi Ogata, Eishun Soken and Ronald K. Takara.

Korean War

Jun Matsushige.

Vietnam War

Lester W. Alipio and Bobby J. Barcena.

Refreshments will be served after the service at Hakalau Jodo Mission, 28-2271 Old Mamalahoa Highway.


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