Hundreds gather at Punchbowl for Memorial Day ceremony

Doris Evert
Doris Evert

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - On this Memorial Day, hundreds gathered at Punchbowl, to honor veterans.

It's another somber service filled with patriotic songs, a flyover, a gun salute and the smooth, tender sound of taps.

More than 35 veterans' organizations were here to honor their fallen comrades, with a wreath presentation.

Doris Evert moved to Hawaii seven years ago from Alabama. Almost her entire family has served in the military.

"We buried one of my nephews, which he came back and he was one of the people that didn't get the help he needed," Evert said. "I was very close to him, I spoke to him at least once a month if not more."

Evert was in the army from 1978 to 1998 as a supply sergeant. At one time, she was in charge of $400 million dollars of equipment.

But she still didn't feel as important as the men who wore the same uniform.

"Recognitions same as the men, there's still a lot of sexual harrassment on both sides, not only on the women's side, both sides," she said.

This was hard for her, especially since she saw it happen more than a few times.

"I don't get the sexual harrassment that most girls did, they would come to me and then I'd do the chain of command real fast," she said.

But one time, she was tested.

"I told him if he said it again to me, I would knock the living daylights out of him," she said. "Think of me as your teammate instead of a female or male, their your teammates, their the ones that make you look good or make you look bad."

Despite the bad feelings she felt while in the army, she has many good things to be thankful for on this Memorial Day.

"I think of all the soldiers we've lost from first timers to now," she said. "I'm honoring my nephew, he's not here, he's in Alabama, but i'm honoring him as a veteran."

A veteran herself, Evert hopes for the same type of appreciation when her time comes.

"One day, I'll be over here, and I'll know that other people will be honoring me," she said.

Among the many special guests were Senator Dan Akaka, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Congresswoman Mazie Hirono and assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs, Tammy Duckworth.