Min Tonai, president of the Japanese American Korean War Veterans (JAKWV), and co-chairs Sam Shimoguchi and Ken Hayashi announced that the annual Memorial Day service for all Japanese Americans who gave their lives in the nation’s wars will be held Saturday, May 26, at 11 a.m. adjacent to the Japanese American National War Memorial Court on the plaza at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo.

At last year's ceremony, Vietnam veteran Dennis Maruki places a flower beside the name of Douglas Harvard Yuki, who was killed in action on Sept. 28, 1970 in South Vietnam. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

This year’s event will be jointly sponsored by the JAKWV and the Japanese American Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee.

“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 sacrifice to the United States of America,” organizers said. The monuments are dedicated to those killed in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, as well as more recent conflicts such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

This year’s service will be in honor of the Japanese Americans who received the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington D.C. and in their respective cities. The keynote speaker will be Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Vincent Okamoto, a Vietnam veteran, who will speak on his participation as a speaker at gold medal presentations in various cities across the country.

Bob Wada, charter president of the JAKWV, will be the master of ceremonies.

Participating at this service will be representatives from many veteran and community organizations throughout the Southern California area. Koyasan Buddhist Temple Boy Scout Troop 379 and Redondo Union High School’s Marine Corps Jr. ROTC will join the ceremony again. Representatives 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. Those that have not received an invitation are asked to contact Min Tonai by phone, (818) 591-1269; fax, (818) 591-8815; or email, tonaim@pacbell.net, or David Miyoshi by phone, (310) 378-0615; fax, (310) 378-0000; or email, david@miyoshilaw.com.

The general public is also invited. For more information, call Tonai, Sam Shimoguchi at (310) 822-6688, or Ken Hayashi at (323) 585-0802.

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