The Washington, D.C., JACL and the Japanese American Veterans Assn. presented the 70th annual Memorial Day ceremony and grave visitation at Arlington National Cemetery’s columbarium courtyard on May 27.
Chaired by the Kobayashi family since 1948, the ceremony is organized annually to honor the nearly 90 Japanese American veterans buried at ANC. The program included greetings from Turner Kobayashi, JACL D.C. President Georgette Furukawa-Martinez and JAVA’s Al Goshi.
Among the speakers were Kim Minh Thai, a student from Spark Matsunaga Elementary School, who spoke about the sacrifices U.S. military service members are making on behalf of their country; Maj. Gen. David Clary, retired from the U.S. Air Force, who recapped the service and sacrifice of Nisei veterans in World War II; and Sandra Tanamachi, a retired Texas teacher and activist, who spoke of her uncle, Saburo
Tanamachi, a 442nd veteran who was one of the first individuals of Japanese descent interred at ANC 70 years ago.
The program culiminated in the acknowledgement of veterans and active service members who were present at the ceremony, as well as a playing of “Taps” and gravesite visitations with flowers. Thank you to everyone who made this event a special day.
— Mackenzie Hirai, JACL Norman Y. Mineta Fellow