18th annual Nisei Soldiers Memorial Service honors fallen WWII heroes
The annual memorial service that honors the Nisei soldiers who served in World War II will take place on Sept. 24. The annual event is presented by the Nisei Veterans Legacy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to perpetuating the legacy of Hawai‘i’s Nisei soldiers in partnership with organizations representing the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service.
The memorial service is approximately one hour and will take place at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as Punchbowl Cemetery, located at 2177 Puowaina Dr. in Honolulu. The service will be broadcast live, from 9:30 to 10:40 a.m. on ‘Ōlelo, channel 53 and facebook.com/olelocommunity.
The Nisei Soldiers Memorial Service began in 2006 at Punchbowl Cemetery as a way for the nisei veterans who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, and 1399 Engineer Construction Battalion, to pay tribute to their fallen comrades.
As the number of veterans decreased over the years, their descendants wanted to continue the tradition and now host the event to honor all Americans of Japanese Ancestry soldiers who served in WWII. The service is held on the Sunday in September that is closest to the date that the first American of Japanese Ancestry soldier was killed in combat. Sgt. Joe Takata of the 100th Infantry Battalion died on Sept. 29, 1943, near Salerno, Italy.