'A privilege to serve': Veterans honored in ceremonies despite wet weather

'A privilege to serve': Veterans honored in ceremonies despite wet weather
Updated: Nov. 11, 2017 at 4:57 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

PUNCHBOWL (HawaiiNewsNow) - It was a soaked Saturday for Veteran's Day remembrances on Oahu.

While some events carried on, others were called off due to safety concerns.

Celebrations kicked off early at Punchbowl's National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Hundreds crowded under a large canopy to try and stay dry during the event that included wreath presentations by Veteran Service Organizations, guest speakers, a hula performance and songs by Hawaii's Liberty Belles.

Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, was the Keynote speaker.

"It's an honor for me to stand here in the company of heroes," he said.

Heroes in the audiences included USS Indianapolis survivor and retired U.S. Navy Capt. John Woolston and Vietnam veteran Mary McEldowney.

"It's a privilege to serve," said 94-year-old Woolston.

"It's just a special thing to be able to celebrate those who are still with us because they're here and can still appreciate the fact," McEldowney said.

There was also a traditional flyover by Hawaii Air National Guard's F-22 Raptors.

While the event at Punchbowl carried on, others were canceled due to the rain.

Organizers for the 71st annual Wahiawa Lions Club Veterans Parade were concerned about the safety of those participating.

"We can't have our children and senior citizens walking in the rain in that parade," said Rene Mansho of Wahiawa Lions Club. "We're all drowning in our sorrows right now feeling so bad because we worked so hard to try and make this parade special."

Mansho says they're not certain if the parade will be rescheduled due to monetary restraints.

Over in Kaneohe Saturday afternoon, the downpours continued and so did the celebrations.

Gov. David Ige provided the keynote address at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery. The event wrapped up with a rifle salute and the playing of Taps.

For a list of events planned statewide to honor Veteran's Day, click here.

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