"It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle." ~ Norman Schwarzkopf
This weekend, as you celebrate Lahainaluna High School's graduation and enjoy a well-deserved day off with family and friends, take a moment to think about Maui soldiers and the meaning of Memorial Day.
One of Hawaii's most famous soldiers, the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, a World War II Congressional Medal of Honor recipient for his valor with the U.S. Army's 442nd Regimental Combat Team, said Memorial Day is "a time to honor and reflect on the sacrifices made by Americans in combat."
"On this day, we must remember and honor the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Armed Services and their families, who give up so much and risk everything to defend our great nation. My war ended many decades ago, but I know what it means to fight in a faraway land, separated from your family and friends. To those who continue to define bravery by serving in the military, I thank you and I wish you safe passage back to your families and loved ones," Inouye said on Memorial Day in 2011.
West Maui soldiers have a proud tradition of serving in combat.
The heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice from World War II through today's conflicts in the Middle East are honored each year by the West Maui Veterans Club.
On Memorial Day on Monday, take time to thank and honor Kelly Bolor, Jay Cajimat and the rest of Lahaina's Beloved War Dead: Clarence Aki, Matsuei Ajitomi, Tokio Ajitomo, Jaime Barreto, Vincent Bedoya, 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 Yoshigai.
Keep these heroes, as well as the soldiers of today and their families waiting for them at home, in your thoughts on Monday.