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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, February 7, 2002

Memorial for Ehime Maru to be dedicated

By Earl Okawa
President of the Japan-America Society of Hawai'i

On Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the Ehime Maru tragedy, there will be an unveiling ceremony of the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kaka'ako Waterfront Park beginning at 10 a.m.

Organizers of the Ehime Maru Fund extend heartfelt appreciation to the people of Hawai'i and donors from 10 other states, Canada and Japan.

The total amount donated to the Ehime Maru Fund was $168,681.05. All of the funds have been distributed to the families of the nine crew members who were lost, to the 26 survivors and to the Uwajima Fisheries High School. The Ehime Maru Fund is now closed.

During this past year, there were many donors who wished to contribute toward an Ehime Maru memorial. Companies offered to donate the granite for a memorial; others offered monetary contributions.

The Ehime Maru Memorial that will be unveiled is being donated by the Okazaki Stonemasonry Complex Cooperation in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.

Funding for the placing and construction of the site comes from Ehime Prefecture, with donated services, in whole or in part, from several companies in Hawai'i, including the Maryl Group, Honolulu Agency and others.

Support from Gov. Ben Cayetano, the Hawai'i Community Development Authority and others made it possible to have the memorial in a place next to Honolulu Harbor, where other fishery training vessels from schools in Japan will visit.

The memorial will honor the four students, two instructors and three crew members who were lost in the tragic collision with the USS Greeneville and serves as a catalyst for building and strengthening friendships between the people of Hawai'i and Ehime.

The Ehime Maru Memorial Association is seeking volunteers from the community to help with the required cleanup (removal of flowers and memorabilia on a weekly basis) of the memorial.

Interested persons should contact the Japan-America Society of Hawai'i at 524-4450.

Thank you very much to all of you for your kind support to the families and to the people of Uwajima and Ehime Prefecture.