Virtual Veterans Day ceremonies held in lieu of traditional events

Updated: Nov. 11, 2020 at 4:18 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - There are no big gatherings this year in Hawaii for Veterans Day, but organizers of several virtual events were determined to honor those who served.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial held a virtual event on Wednesday morning.

It began with opening remarks from Michael Carr, president and CEO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, followed by the invocation from Chaplain Jim Edwards.

The keynote speaker was Congressman-elect Kai Kahele, a veteran himself.

“Today we recognize all those among us who have been a part of the great United States military, our veterans, active duty service members, guardsmen and reservists,” Kahele said.

“Your service and sacrifice have kept our country, our democracy, safe and free.”

He added that while Veterans Day “looks a lot different this year,” it is no less meaningful. “Our veterans have made enormous sacrifices in their service to our nation. We need to do right by them," he said. “Today, we do that by thanking our veterans for their service. We thank them for their courage. We thank them for our freedom. And we thank them for fighting to preserve our democracy.”

The Oahu Veterans Council also held a virtual ceremony to mark Veterans Day that is available for viewing on the Hawaii Veterans Day Ceremony 2020 YouTube page.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, meanwhile, canceled its annual Veterans Day Ceremony. A spokesperson said the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our veterans.”

Instead of the traditional ceremony, staff at the cemetery conducted a private wreath laying ceremony that is now posted to the cemetery’s Facebook page.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific notes that they are open for visitors Wednesday, but asks that attendees follow CDC protocols by limiting gatherings at grave sites to no more than five.

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