Ceremony honors all who sacrificed
|||Floating lanterns are memorials to departed|
By Kelly Yamanouchi
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hundreds gathered at the Mayor's Memorial Day Ceremony yesterday to pay tribute to lives lost in the wars of generations past as well as the wars against terrorism and Iraq.
"The last century saw many periods of global discord," said Mayor Jeremy Harris. "Now of course, a new enemy threatens the safety of our homeland. With the end of major combat operations in Iraq, our nation unites and steels itself in the war against terror."
Veterans and others looked on as junior ROTC cadets and Law Enforcement Explorers posted state flags. The Marines gave a 21-gun salute.
The audience looked skyward as Hawai'i Air National Guard jets flew in "missing man" formation.
That's the most meaningful part of Memorial Day observances for Charlotte Szarmes, a Kapahulu resident who was at the ceremony with her husband and two sons, ages 9 and 11.
"We're honoring our veterans, our people that we lost," Szarmes said.
Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, presented a memorial wreath, as did veterans' organizations, Harris and others.
"This Memorial Day we offer prayers to you all," Harris said. "We all pray that the scourge of war will one day pass on this earth."
Flower lei for the ceremony were strung by Hawai'i students, senior citizen clubs, community organizations and individuals.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts decorated the chapel and gravesites.
Surrounded by graves graced by flags and flowers, Harris said, "This hallowed ground bears bitter testimony."
"You can't help but be overcome by the selfless sacrifice of those buried here," he said.
Makiki resident Tony Tolaney said he attends the ceremony nearly every year to partake in the remembrance.
This year, he said, "With all the things going on in the world I feel a little close with the military and the people who have died for our country."
Reach Kelly Yamanouchi at 535-2470 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.