BY DR. RICHARD KELLEY — In less than a month, on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a great deal of attention will be focused on Hawaii.
The anniversary, themed “Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future,” will be marked by memorial ceremonies, lectures and entertainment, and attended by the president, top officials, diplomats and other VIPs. Most of the activities in or around Hawaii will be coordinated by the Pearl Harbor 75th Commemoration Committee, led by many of Hawaii’s political, business and military leaders (see below for a partial list).
Tours, receptions, memorial ceremonies and other events will happen every day from Dec. 1 through 11. Most events will take place in or around Pearl Harbor. A number of films that tell about the events of Dec. 7, 1941, will be shown at the Waikiki Outdoor Theater on the sands at the water’s edge.
On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort will host a VIP broadcast tent fronting Kalakakua Ave. for the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. It will actually be two large tents with stadium seating and a VIP table for the parade judges and a live radio broadcast.
The parade will honor as Grand Marshals the living Pearl Harbor survivors. It also honors all veterans, active duty military and their families. The parade begins at 4:30 p.m. at Ft. DeRussy, continues along Kalakaua Ave., and ends at Kapiolani Park at around 7:30 p.m.
The History Channel, the major parade sponsor, is producing a two-hour special about the Pearl Harbor survivors returning for the 75th anniversary. It will air shortly before the parade. For more information on the parade, visit www.pearlharborparade.org.
On Dec. 8, 9 and 10, country and western entertainers Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood will present a benefit concert, “Inspiring the Future,” at the Neal Blasidell Center.
Among the “celebrities” who will attend key events in Honolulu are President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama as well as actor Tom Hanks. The Obamas and Hanks will attend the “December 7th Remembered Gala” at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Dec. 6 and the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration at 7:45 a.m. on Dec. 7 at Pearl Harbor.
Details of these events and more can be found at http://pearlharbor75thanniversary.com. However, that is not all that is happening. Many other places across the nation will have ceremonies, memorials and moments of silence encouraging reflection and remembrance. (See below.)
Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary events will somewhat overlap activities of the 2016 Honolulu Marathon, dedicated this year to “Honoring the Past and Inspiring the Future.” The Marathon Expo at the Hawai‘i Convention Center will be open Dec. 8 through 10. On Dec. 9 the Marathon’s “Carbo-Loading” Luau and Concert will be held at the Waikiki Shell. On Dec. 10, the Marathon will introduce a new race called the Kalakaua Merrie Mile. This will be will be an epic one-mile run down Kalakaua Avenue followed by a Waikiki beach party. It is appropriately named for King Kalakaua, also known as the Merrie Monarch. Sunday, Dec. 11, will see the running of the Marathon itself.
Members of the Outrigger ohana in Waikiki will have their hands full in early December. In addition to the thousands of Honolulu Marathon participants, many dignitaries, VIPs and other guests will be in town for the occasion. I am sure you will all respond to these challenges in The Outrigger Way at a time we will all remember far into the future as an appropriate honor to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on Dec. 7, 1941, and in the years that followed.
“Let Freedom Ring.”