Memorial Day services move veterans to tears - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Memorial Day services move veterans to tears

People all over the country honored those who died on the battlefield on Memorial Day.  But in Hawaii, the services are slightly different.  Fresh picked flowers were sewn together by volunteers to drape a lei on every grave site at Punchbowl Memorial Cemetery. 

"Unique in all the world, I don't think there's another Memorial Day anywhere in America or any of the other cemeteries either in Europe or in Asia that does this," says Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

 "God bless Hawaii and all that you do," says veteran Gordon Shurtleff, who has never witnessed a Memorial Day service in Hawaii.

"This is just so moving," says Shurtleff as he chokes up.

Bob Bretschneider of the VFW Post 10276 also fights back tears, "This is our chance to never forget those people," he says.

From Punchbowl to Kaneohe's Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery, to Schofield Barracks, people paused to remember.

While services honored those who didn't make it back from war, many are worried about those who do amid a growing scandal in the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Vets have died waiting for care as critics say the department isn't working fast enough to help them.

"Some people don't work as fast," says 93-year old Daniel Carvalho, a Korean War veteran.  He says he hasn't had problems but hopes the issues with the VA are resolved soon.  He says it's important to honor vets who have died and those who are still alive. 

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