American service members honored in Veterans Day ceremonies

American service members honored in Veterans Day ceremonies
Ceremonies honored veterans across Hawaii. (Source: HNN)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Taps, a gun salute and a F-22 flyover marked Veterans Day ceremonies across Oahu Monday.

Hundreds turned out for the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

The keynote speaker was Adm. Philip Davidson, the 25th commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, who honored those serving abroad.

“As we enjoy the beautiful Hawaiian weather here on Oahu, our deployed service men and women are working to preserve those ties that bind us abroad,” Adm. Davidson said. “They are defending our nation and a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Governor David Ige, who was also in attendance, reflected on his father and father-in-law’s service during World War Two.

“The veterans of these fearsome battles returned home more committed than ever to build the dream of a more perfect nation described in our constitution,” Ige said. “We are here because of their courage and sacrifice.”

An event at the Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial honored 101 years since the first world war ended.

Those who attended, reflected on the sacrifices service members make every day, including members who gave their lives.

“Every day that you serve in the cloth of your nation, you subordinate your own interests for the good of our nation. You put the nation’s good in front of your own good,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Wells of the U.S. Marine Corps.

There was also a special sunset ceremony at the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Ford Island, honoring those who were assigned to the USS Missouri.

“Their sacrifices shaped our history and paved the path of where we are today,” said Cdr. George Howell, Commanding officer of the USS Missouri (SSN 780) submarine.

More than 100,000 veterans live in Hawaii, according to the Governor. Raymond Santana is one of them. He served in the Vietnam War and was one of the grand marshals at the annual Veterans Day Parade in Wahiawa.

Community members and active duty personnel lined California Avenue as bands, troops and JROTC programs marched down the route.

“This is amazing for both of us who are active duty military. We love to be out here and see everybody’s support -- the community’s support of us,” said Chance Strain, who attended the parade.

Nov. 11 was originally known as Armistice Day. Congress eventually changed its name to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

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