Veterans Day Parade
November 29, 2010
The local community turned out in inspiring numbers to celebrate Veterans' Day the 65th Veterans' Day parade arranged by the Wahiawa Lions Club. The parade was held in Wahiawa on California Street and ended at the Wahiawa Recreation area where 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment set up a display alongside other military displays, children's games and shopping stalls.
"This is amazing community all together to recognize the veterans in this way," said Staci Swotk, wife of a Soldier present at the event.
Dr. Shigeo Kawamoto, who was named Grand Marshal of the parade and subsequent ceremony, due to his part in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team who served in Italy and France during World War II. The 442nd accomplished the rescue of the "Lost Battalion", or the 141st Regimental Combat Team, which was trapped behind enemy lines. After he left the military he became an optometrist and practiced until his retirement in 1983.
Kawamoto still feels pride and honor from the time when he heroically served his nation.
"I am honored to be here and part of this event," he said.
"I come here every year," said Jerry Omalza who was in the Army and served in Vietnam between 1968-69. He commented that he comes to support the military and brought his wife and granddaughter.
The local community came together not only to honor their friends and family members in the military, but to teach their children about the military and what it means to the community.
John Caban attended the parade with his daughter, Kau'i Lorinzo, "I think it's good for the community and for kids to see the military and see what our freedom cost."
Kau'i Lorinzo whose' older brother is in the National Guard said, "The military always tries it's best to work with the community."
There were many speakers present, including Congresswoman Mazie Hirono and Maj. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division on Schofield Barracks.
Congresswoman Hirono appealed to the community to "be of service to our community to honor our veterans."
Champoux was a representative from the military and keynote speaker during the ceremony. "Only in America can we stop everything we are doing and roll out to honor our veterans," he said.
Champoux spoke fondly of the local community and its' relationship with the military. "This area has opened their hearts, homes and community to take care of the military," concluded Champoux.