The memorials are dedicated to Japanese Americans who fought and died in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and other conflicts. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

The Veterans Memorial Court Alliance (VMCA) 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 27, 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 Hubert Yoshida. As a child, Hubert was interned at Poston, Arizona. After growing up on a farm in Watsonville, he graduated from the University of California in 1962. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, attended OCS and became a Marine Corps officer in time to lead a platoon in combat in Vietnam. He was decorated for valor with two Bronze Stars. After his service he worked for IBM, then joined Hitachi Data Systems, where he was vice president and chief technology officer.

He retired in 2020 and is the author of the book “Operation Utah: The Die Is Cast.” The story of the Marines’ first encounter with the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) contains first-hand accounts of the men who participated in Operation Utah and is a tribute to the 99 Marines and corpsmen who made the ultimate sacrifice in that battle. 

Master of ceremonies will be Les Higa, U.S. Army veteran and VMCA board member.  Singing the national anthem and “God Bless America” will be Helen Ota of the Grateful Crane Ensemble, a VMCA board member.   

On display inside the JACCC will be the photo exhibit of almost all of the 255 JA heroes who gave their lives in the Korean War. This photo tribute was created by the Japanese American Korean War Veterans group over 20 years ago and will be available for public viewing from 30 minutes before the service to one hour after.   

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 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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