The pandemic has caused the cancellation of the traditional services to pay tribute to those who have given their lives in defense of the United States of America. The inability for us to gather in large number, however, will not deter us from honoring our heroes.
The Veterans Memorial Court Alliance, together with co-sponsor organizations Kazuo Masuda VFW Post 3670, 4th District Gardena VFW Post 1961 and Go For Broke National Education Center, will present a video service that will be available on the Memorial Court Alliance website on the Memorial Day weekend.
Wade Ishimoto, distinguished senior fellow of the Joint Special Operations University and member of the U.S. Special Operations Command Commando Hall of Fame, will be the keynote speaker.
In 2014, Ishimoto was inducted as a “Distinguished Member” of the Special Forces Regiment.
His affiliation with the Special Forces Regiment began in 1968, when he conducted classified human intelligence cross-border operations in Vietnam. He continued service with the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) while leading a civic action and humanitarian relief mission to the Miyako Islands in Okinawa. Ishimoto was also the intelligence officer and roadblock security team leader on the ill-fated 1980 mission to rescue 53 American hostages in Tehran, Iran.
Ishimoto continues to assist the Special Forces community in various ways even in his retirement.
He graduated from the University of Hawaii majoring in Asian studies and obtained an MA in human resources development from Webster University. He is a former chief instructor of Shinbudo Kai aikido as a 6th-degree black belt and has also taught Goju Ryu karate. He and his wife Bobbi reside in Virginia. The mistress of ceremonies will be Helen Ota. Aimee Machida will sing the national anthem and “America the Beautiful,” with the Redondo Union High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC presenting and retiring the colors. A significant part of the video will be floral tributes made on behalf of community organizations to honor those whose names are on the walls of the Japanese American National War Memorial Court.
The sponsoring organizations invite you to view the video at: http://memorialcourtalliance.org
Thank you for helping us to remember our heroes on this special day.
—Submitted by KEN HAYASHI