BY KATHY FOLEY — As you read in Dr. Kelley’s Saturday Briefing article last week, this past week was an emotional one as we paused to commemorate the tragic events that took place 75 years ago when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese.
Outrigger was pleased to be a bronze sponsor of the commemoration and participated in many of the events held over several days. Outrigger representatives attended “December 7th Remembered” – An Evening of Honor and Tribute gala at the Hilton Hawaiian Village where tribute was given to the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor and Oahu and World War II veterans.
December 7 was the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at a pier overlooking the memorial to the sunken Arizona. Outrigger again was present among a crowd of about 9,000 who fell silent at precisely 7:55 a.m. beginning the ceremony where over 300 U.S. veterans of World War II and their families received blessings and prayers for peace.
A performance by the Navy’s Pacific Fleet band was made more poignant by the knowledge that every member of the USS Arizona band died on that fateful day.
More than 100 survivors traveled to Hawai‘i for the events, along with a few hundred other World War II veterans. This is believed to be the last major gathering of survivors, many of whom are in their 90s and a few over 100.
Outrigger was pleased to host and make special arrangements for Pearl Harbor survivors. The OHANA Waikiki East by Outrigger® hosted Edward Stone (93) of Syracuse, New York. He visited Pam Cabrera, director of military affairs, to thank her for making arrangements for him by planting a great big kiss on her cheek. While there, he shared the experiences of that day of infamy, still vivid in memory despite the many years that have passed. Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach (OWK) was host to survivor Louis A. Towne and the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach to Resort Clyde B. Wilborn and Edwin F. Hamilton.
Our beachfront resorts also co-hosted the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade by providing viewing stands in front of OWK in addition to a judge’s table and announcer booth. The parade’s mission is to pay meaningful tribute to our veterans and armed forces and that they did; it was a highlight for thousands who lined Kalakaua Avenue to pay their respects by “remembering the past and celebrating our future.”
At press time, there are several events taking place and still to come culminating in this year’s Honolulu Marathon tomorrow in tribute to our veterans.
As the commemorative events wind down and as Dr. Kelley shared last week, “I hope the nation will not forget the sacrifices made by so many, and that it all started 75 years ago right here on Oahu one Sunday morning in 1941.”