Parents of Paul T. Nakamura are escorted to the Japanese American National War Memorial Court by 2018 Nisei Week Princess Marica Snyder and an unidentified ROTC marine cadet. Nakamura was killed in action in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. (MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

The Veterans Memorial Court Alliance, together with co-sponsors Go For Broke National Education Center, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Japanese American National Museum, Keiro and Little Tokyo Service Center, announced that on Saturday, May 28, at 11 a.m., the Annual Memorial Day Service to honor all Japanese Americans who gave their lives in our nation’s wars will be held adjacent to the Japanese American National War Memorial Court (Memorial Court) at the JACCC, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo. 

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 for the United States of America.

We are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker will be Helen H. Ota. Helen is an actor and singer with the Grateful Crane Ensemble and former artistic director of Cold Tofu, the nation’s premier Asian American comedy improv troupe. She is also an active community member, serving on the Board of Directors of the Veterans Memorial Court Alliance, Nisei Week Foundation, and Zentoku Foundation, and is an Advisory Board member of Kizuna. 

Master of ceremonies will be Ken Hayashi, Vietnam veteran and president of Veterans Memorial Court Alliance. The singer will be Aimee Machida, member of the Grateful Crane Ensemble.

Also participating will be representatives from the many veteran and community organizations throughout the Southern California area. The Koyasan Buddhist Temple Boy Scout Troop 379 and the Redondo Union High School Marine Corp Jr. ROTC will again perform the uniformed ceremonies of the service. Representatives from the Buddhist and Christian faiths will offer prayers to these brave men. 

Gold Star mothers, fathers and families who are in attendance will be acknowledged. Please check in at the registration table at the Memorial Court to confirm your attendance. All those for whom we have an address were invited by letter or email. If you have not received our invitation, please contact Ken Hayashi, preferably by email,, or by phone, (310) 833-0088. 

We invite fellow veterans, active-duty personnel and all members of the community to join us to remember and honor our heroes who gave their precious lives on our behalf.  If you have any other questions about the services, please contact David Miyoshi at (310) 378-0615 or Ken Hayashi at (323) 833-0088.

Reminder: This is a live event. We look forward to seeing you there.  

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