The Sounds of Aloha Chorus proudly continued its tradition of providing music for the Mayor's Annual Memorial Day Ceremony held at the National Memorial of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater (Pūowaina). This year's event was held jointly by the City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii. It was a particularly special occasion, and even more heavily attended this year, because it was one event in a whole series of events around the country that together comprise the national commemoration of the "50th anniversary" of the Vietnam War. That commemoration was proclaimed by President Barack Obama in 2012 to last from Memorial Day 2012 through Veterans Day 2025.
The ceremony also featured the wonderful sounds of the Royal Hawaiian Band, a jet flyover in the missing man formation, a 21-gun salute, wreath-laying by numerous diplomatic and community organizations, the playing of "Taps," and remarks by military and civilian dignitaries, all in the setting of the so-called "Arlington Cemetery of the Pacific," with its thousands of graves bedecked by local Boy Scouts with flags and with lei made by volunteers from all over Hawaii.
In addition to its always popular medley of military service songs, and the "Navy Hymn" ("Eternal Father, Strong to Save"), SOA was pleased to sing a song from the period of the Vietnam War, Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," as well as a recent song, Secret Garden's "You Raise Me Up." We are always proud to do our part to help pay tribute to those who have served and sacrificed for our country, and we are grateful for this opportunity to do so.