World War I vets honored in Waikiki - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

World War I vets honored in Waikiki

Brigadier General Gary Hara Brigadier General Gary Hara
Elika Elika

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Crowds gathered at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium on Sunday for Memorial Day ceremonies, which attract hundreds of people each year.

The tradition entered its 21st year, held at the State's official memorial honoring the 101 fallen soldiers from Hawaii, who sacrificed their lives in WWI.

Guest speaker, Brigadier General Gary Hara, honored soldiers' loved ones as well.

"For without their commitment and support it would be extremely difficult for our young men and women to continue to serve during this period of prolonged conflict," he said.

For many paying tribute to the names engraved in history, WWI was before their time. But the personal connection still hits home.

"There's an Anthony Mattos here and I know a Steve Mattos, who I work with, and maybe that's a relative of his and that's just some of my reflection on the namesake of these soldiers as well as friends I know," said Elika, a Diamond Head resident.

It's that reflection that continues to bring both strangers and friends of those now resting in peace.

This could be the last year Memorial Day services will be held where the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium currently stands.

The City and County of Honolulu is thinking of replacing and moving the severely deteriorating landmark.

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