For quite a few years the Sounds of Aloha proudly provided music for the annual Mayor's Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Pūowaina (Punchbowl). The COVID pandemic interrupted that tradition for the past two years, and we resorted to a virtual tribute. But we were pleased this year that the event was back on!
If you've never attended this ceremony, it's quite an experience, with eloquent tributes by military and governmental dignitaries, a Hawaiian oli and prayers by clergy, instrumental music by the Royal Hawaiian Band, the laying of many wreaths by veterans and civic organizations and foreign governments, a rifle salute, the playing of taps, and a flyover, all in a sacred setting with the thousands of markers adorned with flags and with donated lei. The spot where the chorus was placed is among a section of walls that bear the names of U.S. Navy sailors and U.S. Marines who gave their lives in the Pacific Theatre of the Second World War and whose remains were not recovered.
The Sounds of Aloha were grateful and humbled to be asked again to share our songs with those gathered to commemorate the sacrifices of so many.