Thursday, May 27, 1999

Scouts to decorate grave
markers for Memorial Day

By Alisa Lavelle


The Boy Scouts of Hawaii will decorate the 41,200 grave markers with leis and American flags to start the traditional Memorial Day services at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl this Sunday.

At 1 p.m., about 2,500 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorers will participate in the ceremony meant to honor all veterans, said John Mills, district executive of Ka'ala Boy Scouts of Hawaii. Public school students make and donate the leis used at Punchbowl, the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe and each Veterans Cemetery on the neighbor islands.

Later at Punchbowl, there will be a memorial salute and a missing-man helicopter flyover.

That evening at 6, the annual Vietnam candlelight ceremony will be held at Punchbowl.

On Monday, the mayor's annual service will begin at 8:15 a.m. with a first-ever procession of veterans from all of the nation's wars. This will be followed by the posting of the state flags, a 21-cannon artillery salute by the 25th Infantry Division and a missing-man formation flyover of F-15 fighters by the Hawaii Air National Guard. Mayor Jeremy Harris will give a memorial address.

This ceremony marks the 50th anniversary of the cemetery and mayoral services. The cemetery was opened to the public on July 19, 1949, with the burial of five war dead and journalist Ernie Pyle, who served in the Navy in World War I and wrote about enlisted men in World War II.

At the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe, Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono will give an address for the governor's Memorial Day ceremony. The ceremony starting at 1 p.m. also includes a cannon salute from the 1st Battalion and flyover by the 25th Aviation Brigade.

Other events include the honoring of submariners at the Submarine Base Memorial on Pearl Harbor at 11 a.m.; the American Friends Service Committee's annual picnic starting at 10 a.m. at Makua Beach; the last day to view the portable Vietnam Wall Memorial at the Arizona Memorial front lawn; and the traditional American Legion Auxiliary's distribution of 40,000 hand-made poppies crafted by hospitalized veterans.


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