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Maui Nisei Veterans to hold memorial service Sunday

By Staff | Sep 27, 2012

The observance is held on the Sunday closest to Sept. 29, the day in 1943 when Sgt. Shigeo “Joe” Takata died in Italy. He was the first 100th Battalion soldier to be killed in action.

WAILUKU – The annual joint memorial service of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30, at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center at 1 Go for Broke Place in Wailuku.

Maui veterans of the 100th Battalion held their first service after returning from World War II. The 442nd veterans joined the observance in 2003.

Both units were composed mostly of Americans of Japanese ancestry who served in Europe during the war.

The public is invited to attend the service. A special invitation is extended to the World War II veterans of the Military Intelligence Service, who served in the Asia and Pacific theaters; and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion, which was stationed on Oahu and completed 54 defense-related projects.

The guest speaker will be Janna Hoehn, a volunteer with the effort to establish the Education Center at The Wall. To be built near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – known as The Wall – in Washington, D.C., the center will include pictures and stories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.

More than 58,000 names are on The Wall, including 276 from Hawaii.

Among those helping to collect the pictures is Hoehn, a floral designer on Maui who has obtained pictures of all 42 service members from Maui County who died in Vietnam. She later did the same for the six who were from her hometown of Hemet, California.

The memorial service also will include:

A historical presentation by Leonard Oka, vice president of Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans and secretary of the NVMC board, and a presidential greeting by Stanley Izumigawa on behalf of the veterans’ clubs.

A floral tribute and reading of names of 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team soldiers who were killed in action. The 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team fight songs will be sung.

A tribute to the veterans prepared by the Kansha Preschool, which is part of the intergenerational program at the NVMC.

Singing by the Kahului Union Church Gospel Men and Women.

Invocation and benediction by Rev. Kalani Wong, chaplain at Kamehameha Schools Maui and recently retired from Iao Congregational Church.

Maui’s Sons and Daughters of the Nisei Veterans will host the service. Floyd Nagoshi, a member of the group’s board of directors, will be the master of ceremonies.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center is near the intersection of Lower Main Street and Waiehu Beach Road.