Wahiawa celebrates veterans during 68th annual parade
Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, march along during the 68th annual Veterans Day Parade in Wahiawa, Nov. 11. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Catrina Herbert, 3rd BCT Public Affairs) LINK: More Photos
by Staff Sgt. Catrina Herbert, November 11, 2014, DVIDSHUB
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Wahiawa said, "Mahalo” to veterans this morning with the Wahiawa Lions Club 68th Annual Veterans Day Parade.
The Royal Hawaiian Band led the parade along with Mayor Kirk Caldwell. The sidewalks on California Avenue were filled with hundreds of spectators, family and friends of active duty military and veterans eager to show support and pride for their country.
The Veterans Day Parade, hosted by the Wahiawa Lions, was held Nov. 11.
The Wahiawa Lions Club has been hosting the Veterans Day Parade for many years now; it has become an event the community looks forward to each year.
Veterans from all eras were present, whether they were marching in the parade or standing in the streets dressed in the uniform of their service. Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3BCT, 25th ID Band, and a color guard from 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry and the 25th Infantry Division Band also marched in the parade.
This year had three grand marshals: Mitsuo Hamasu, from the mighty 110th Infantry Battalion, Glen Arakaki, MIS, and Yoshinobu Oshiro, MIS.
The parade started from Ka'ala Elementary School to the Wahiawa District Park. It ended with a program in the park where Maj. Gen Charles Flynn, commanding general, 25th Infantry Division, was the keynote speaker.
The parade consisted of over 70 participants, active duty military marched to the applause of onlookers, local elementary schools waved American flags, local high school bands played, and Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops passed out candy and sang, "Together we say, happy Veterans Day."
“Since 1949, the community of Wahiawa has been letting the veterans know they love them, and embrace them,” said Caldwell. “When they go off to war, we wish them the best and feel sad, and when they come home we wrap them with Aloha.”
The parade ended with military vehicle static displays, food booths, crafts and a couple of jumping bouncers for the kids. Local elected officials were in attendance for the day’s activities.
The Lion’s Club of Wahiawa was established with the goal of building a lasting relationship centered on poise and respect between the military and the Wahiawa community. Celebrating its 68th anniversary, Lion’s Club continues its support to the Wahiawa community by honoring those who have served by holding the Veterans Day Parade each year.
“I would like to offer my gratitude and thanks to the three grand marshals and the respect that all of us in uniform have for the legacy you and so many others in our path many have paved the way for us to be who we are, in what we do, and to be able to serve this great nation,” said Flynn.
As the citizens of Wahiawa reflect on what Veterans Day means to them, they showed their support with coming out and celebrating with the veterans.
“I am so grateful for all those who have come and gone and fought to keep us free,” said June Asato, with the Mililani Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. “This a time for me to remember and honor, and thank our service members because our freedom is because of them.”
Caldwell said, “It is a real honor to be standing in such a special place a legacy in our community.”
“On the 11th hour, 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the armistice was signed to stop all wars. Think about all the since, and each one of those wars there’s a story to be told by those veterans who went off and fought.”
“We can never forget their sacrifice, that’s why we celebrate and called it Veterans Day around our great nation,” Caldwell said in closing.