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Don’t lose sight of the purpose of Memorial Day

By Staff | May 25, 2017

Monday, Memorial Day, is a very important date in our country. It’s a day to thank and remember the people who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Originally called Decoration Day, the holiday was founded shortly after the Civil War and observed by decorating the graves of soldiers who died in the massive, nearly 500,000-casualty conflict.

Memorial Day was later expanded to honor all fallen American service members and observed on May 30.

Through an act of Congress, in 1971, several holidays were shuffled to create longer weekends. Memorial Day moved to the last Monday in May, and a stand-alone date to honor fallen soldiers and veterans for their incredible sacrifices was absorbed into a three-day weekend to celebrate the start of the summer season.

Hawaii’s most famous soldier and U.S. senator, Medal of Honor winner Daniel Inouye, tried for many years to return Memorial Day to May 30.

“Mr. President, in our effort to accommodate many Americans by making the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, we have lost sight of the significance of this day to our nation. Instead of using Memorial Day as a time to honor and reflect on the sacrifices made by Americans in combat, many Americans use the day as a celebration of the beginning of summer,” Inouye said in 1989, commenting on legislation he introduced.

“My bill would restore Memorial Day to May 30 and authorize our flag to fly at half-mast on that day. In addition, this legislation would authorize the President to issue a proclamation designating Memorial Day and Veterans Day as days for prayer and ceremonies honoring American veterans. This legislation would help restore the recognition our veterans deserve for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of our nation.”

So, in that mindset, take time on Monday to remember and honor West Maui’s War Dead, including Clarence Aki, Matsuei Ajitomi, Tokio Ajitomo, Jaime Barreto, Vincent Bedoya, Kelly Bolor, Jay Cajimat, Giichi Chinen, Manuel Freitas, Takeo Fujiyama, Katsumi Harada, Masami Higuchi, Susumu Imano, Kenneth Kaaihue, Michael Kaaihue, Lincoln Kaumeheiwa, Sadao Kawamoto, Tadashi Miyahira, Akeji Morinaga, Gary R. Naganuma, Martin Naganuma, Gary A. Nakaima, Kosei Nakamura, Hideichi Nakata, Albert Neizman, Masayoshi Oba, Sanichi Oba, Hiroshi Oku, Masanao Otake, Warren Prescott, Walter Rickard, Nobumi Shibao, Nobuo Shishido, Jiro Suzawa, Hitoshi Taguchi, Tadashi Wakabayashi and Mitsuichi

Monday is the time to honor our soldiers, thank our veterans and pay tribute to our fallen heroes.