Hawaii WWII vet laid to rest 10 days after casting final ballot - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii WWII vet laid to rest 10 days after casting final ballot

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Barbara Tanabe Barbara Tanabe
Ted Tsukiyama Ted Tsukiyama
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

He made national headlines two weeks ago with his simple act of patriotism. On Friday, World War II veteran Frank Tanabe arrived at his final resting place at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

Tanabe received a send-off worthy of the hero he was through his last days.

The 93 year old's final act of voting in his hospice bed - literally, a snapshot in time - has inspired the masses. Tanabe's family has been flooded with well wishes from around the world.

Tanabe's daughter, Barbara, says, "I think the most touching was the letters that we received from 5th graders in Michigan who were studying elections in government, and they saw the picture of my dad voting absentee, and to them, he was an American hero."

The photo of Tanabe casting that final ballot went viral within minutes. Hundreds of thousands have seen it. After church services at the Cathedral of St. Andrew on Friday, family and friends remembered how the quiet, fiercely patriotic man set a great example throughout his life.

Veteran and friend, Ted Tsukiyama, elaborated, "Look here in Hawaii, we can't even get 30 to 40% of the people to come out to vote, and yet, here he is on his deathbed, and yet, he insists on wanting to exercise his right as a citizen. It's a great way, a great way to go out."

Tanabe suffered from inoperable liver cancer. He died peacefully in his Manoa home on October 24th - just two days after he cast his ballot. Barbara Tanabe added, "If his vote encourages people to vote, that would be the ultimate honor for him."

With just four days to go until the election, as he's laid to rest, Frank Tanabe proves, in life and in death, there's no excuse not to get out and vote.

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