WAIKIKI, Hawaii -- Military service members, along with families and friends, attended the 27th Annual Combined Forces Military Band Appreciation Concert, May 2, at the Hale Koa Hotel, here.

The Combined Forces Military Band consists of service members from the 25th Infantry Division Band, the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Band, the U.S. Marine Forces Pacific Band and the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific.

"These Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen are the best of their trade," said Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commander, 25th ID. "They've been selected through auditions, and they represent their services with great pride. They are some spectacular musicians."

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lisa Guynn, 25th ID Band, led this year's concert.

"It was wonderful, (and the concert) represented the best of the best," said Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander, Navy Region-Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. "They say music is the universal language … and it was just wonderful."

The concert, hosted by the Honolulu Council of the Navy League, is the kick-off event for Military Appreciation Month in Hawaii.

"There's nothing that we can't do together that, separated, we couldn't possibly do," said Maj. Michael Willen, U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific. "We salute each of the armed forces tonight. Whether we go to fight or whether we go to help people recover, we all go under the same flag."

Hawaii Military Appreciation Month Events

The state of Hawaii has declared the month of May as Hawaii Military Appreciation Month to honor Hawaii-based troops and their families. Local government officials and business and civic leaders, along with military leadership, have planned the following events:

Honolulu Zoo -- Located at 151 Kapahulu Ave., the Honolulu Zoo will host a free day for all military ID cardholders and their families, 9 a.m.--2 p.m., May 19. One ID cardholder can bring the entire family. Free entrance for military ID cardholders will be located at the Monsarrat Gate. A free shuttle departs at 9 a.m. from the Bowling Center, Schofield Barracks. Call 808-655-0002 to registration for transportation. For Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam shuttles, call 808-423-3215; for Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe shuttles, call 808-257-8832. For general information, email ota.elaine@yahoo.com or call 808-486-9640.

Living History Day -- The U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, Fort DeRussy, Waikiki, will commemorate Armed Forces Day, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., May 19, with re-enactors in period uniforms and displays of military memorabilia. Call 808-438-2822.

Polo -- The Army will play the Navy, noon, May 27, at Mokuleia Polo Field.