Every year on November 11, we honor the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect their nation. Visitors to Hawaii can take part in a number of Veterans Day events across the islands. Here are just a few ways to observe Veterans Day 2018 in Hawaii.
Kapaa Veterans Day Parade
Though the actual date of Veterans Day is November 11 annually, the Kauai Veterans Day Parade is scheduled for November 3, 2018. The Kauai Veterans Council and the Kapaa Business Association join together for the parade, which takes place in the town of Kapaa. Starting at 9:30 AM, Makaha Road will be filled with school marching bands, JROTC units, marching units from each branch of the military, and community organizations eager to honor America’s veterans.
The parade ends at Kapaa Beach Park, where a short program will be held for the veterans in attendance, rounding out the commemoration for Veterans Day 2018.
Big Island of Hawaii
Hilo Veterans Day Parade
On November 10, 2018, the Hawaii Island Veterans Day Parade will kick off a procession in honor of the veterans of Hawaii and the rest of the United States. The parade’s theme for 2018 is “Celebrate Service,” and focuses on how veterans have become involved in assisting those in need, even long after their service has ended.
The Hawaii Island Veterans Day Parade is one of the state’s largest parades honoring veterans. It takes over downtown Hilo, featuring local vendors and marching units from the US Army and Hawaii Air National Guard. First Lieutenant Walter Hughes of the US Army Air Force and a World War II B-24 pilot will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 2018 event.
The 2018 parade promises be an exciting event, with many incredible stories of service to the nation waiting to be told by the men and women who lived them.
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument
Oahu became a war zone on December 7, 1941 when the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Today, Pearl Harbor is still an active military base, and is home to several memorials and exhibits dedicated to the men who gave their lives nearly 77 years ago.
The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument offers an incredible glimpse into the Japanese attack, and tells many stories that focus on the people involved and not just the tragedy of the attack itself. On Veterans Day, you may even get to hear stories first hand from survivors or their family members in the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
The names of the fallen servicemen can be found in several areas of the monument, including the USS Arizona Memorial’s Shrine Room (currently inaccessible due to repairs on the landing structure). The USS Oklahoma Memorial, dedicated to the 429 crew members killed when the battleship capsized and sank, consists of a series of white pillars, one for each crewman lost on December 7, 1941. The Waterfront Submarine Memorial, part of the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, lists the vessels and men lost in the Pacific during World War II.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
A more personal way to honor those who fell during the nation’s many conflicts is by visiting their final resting place at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Located in Punchbowl Crater on Oahu, the cemetery is home to more than 34,000 graves of servicemembers who served their country with honor and distinction.
One special memorial here is known as the Courts of the Missing, which honors those declared Missing in Action. The names listed come from multiple wars and all branches of the military.
The cemetery is a somber experience, but when it comes to honoring the fallen veterans of the United States, it’s one of the best places to do so.