26th annual Memorial Day observance at Waikiki natatorium

Published On: May 25 2014 06:48:00 PM HST

Memorial Day is about remembering those who served and sacrificed. Veterans and those who lost their lives in the armed forces were remembered today at the Waikiki National War Memorial, originally built as a testament to their bravery.

Click here to watch Nana Ohkawa's report.

"100 years ago this summer, the course of world history changed as the great world war began globally. More than 60 million served and an estimated 11 million gave their lives," said Brian Turner with National Trust for Historic Preservation.

That included people in what was then the Territory of Hawaii. Historians say it was the first time the islands participated in a global event of such magnitude. Sunday marked a special tribute to 10,000 soldiers from Hawaii who volunteered to serve in WWI and the 101 soldiers who gave their lives.

"When we remember them we not only remember them, but we remember everything their families suffered. I think the other important thing to remember is the things they do for us," said Darryll Wong, Adjutant General for the State of Hawaii.

"Freedom as you all know is not free. It is paid for by the men and women who serve in the world's finest armed forces," said Gene Castagnetti a USMC retiree.

Veterans of Foreign Wars, the National Association for Uniform Services, and other veterans organizations honored the military fallen with hula and lei.

The event concluded with the traditional ride off of dozens of The American Legion motorcyclists.

Friends of the Natatorium sponsored the event.

Organizers said having the ceremony at the natatorium helps connect the community with the memorial in the hopes of reopening the pool that's been closed since 1979.


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