Memorial Day Service in Little Tokyo

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Vincent Okamoto, vice president of the Japanese American Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee (JAVVMC) and Thomi Yamamoto, president of the Japanese American Korean War Veterans (JAKWV), jointly announced that on Saturday, May 28, at 10 a.m., the annual Memorial Day Service for all Japanese Americans who gave their lives in the nation’s wars will be held adjacent to the Japanese American National War Memorial Court (Memorial Court) at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC), located in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles.

The start time is an hour earlier than in prior years.

“We invite the general public to attend our memorial services to honor our heroes, who gave their precious lives on our behalf,” said Yamamoto.

This year’s event will be jointly sponsored by the JAVVMC and the JAKWV. “Our community and nation are forever indebted to these Japanese Americans from all wars, whose names are engraved on the four monuments in the Memorial Court, for their supreme sacrifices to the United States of America,” the two groups said in a statement.

Okamoto and Min Tonai, JAKWV past president, are co-chairs of the event. Master of ceremonies will be David Miyoshi and the keynote speaker is Scott Takahashi, a Vietnam veteran whose father was a member of the 100th Battalion in World War II.

Participating in this service will be representatives from the many veteran and community organizations throughout Southern California. The Koyasan Buddhist Temple Boy Scout Troop 379 and the El Rancho High School Marine Corps Jr. ROTC will participate in the ceremony again. Ministers from the Buddhist and Christian faiths will offer prayers to these brave men.

All Gold Star Mothers and families of the men who are memorialized on the monuments are invited to attend. All those for whom the organizations have addresses will be invited by letter. Those who have not received an invitation may contact Min Tonai at (818) 591-1269 (phone), (818) 591-8815 (fax), or tonaim@pacbell.net; or David Miyoshi at (310) 378-0615 (phone), (310) 378-0000 (fax), or david@miyoshilaw.com.

For information, call Thomi Yamamoto at (213) 387-9033, Victor Muraoka at (818) 368-4113 or Ken Hayashi at (323) 585-0802.

Following the service at 4 p.m. will be a concert to benefit earthquake/tsunami relief in Japan. The Asia America Symphony Orchestra, Asia America Youth Orchestra and numerous guest soloists are volunteering their time and talents to help the victims. For ticket information, contact Darryl Tanikawa at Darryl@TanikawaArtists.com or (310) 377-8977 or Chris Naito at coconaito@yahoo.com or (310) 379-9204.

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