“It is our turn this year to organize the Joint Memorial Day Service at Woodlawn Cemetery. I have been informed by the cemetery administrator that they have cancelled their Memorial Day observance due to the limitations on public gatherings that are currently in place.
“We have decided it will also be in the best interest of public safety, especially since many of our attendees are elderly, to cancel our Joint Memorial Day Service as well. We hope to be able to resume the tradition again next year. Let me know if you have any questions.”
Since 1959, this memorial service has been hosted in rotation by Santa Monica Nikkeijin Kai, Venice Japanese Community Center and West Los Angeles Japanese Institute of Sawtelle. Beginning last year, West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple hosted the service, with Venice Free Methodist Church, Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, West Los Angeles Holiness Church, and West Los Angeles United Methodist Church scheduled to join the rotation in subsequent years.
The ceremony is held at the Ireito (memorial tower) at Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica to honor the area’s Issei pioneers and Nisei soldiers who died in World War II and the Korean War.