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Flags will fly at half-staff for Air Force pilot from Hawaii

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:30 p.m. HST, May 10, 2013

The Hawaii state flag will fly at half-staff Saturday in honor of Air Force Capt. Reid Nishizuka, who died in plane crash in Afghanistan.

Nishizuka’s memorial service will be held Saturday evening.

“Like so many of our men and women in uniform, Reid chose to serve our nation with honor, and the people of Hawaii are proud of his selflessness and commitment in defense of freedom so far from home,” Gov. Abercrombie said in a message ordering state flags be flown at half-staff. “We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Nishizuka and Hatakeyama ohana as we mourn the loss of an island son.”  

People lined the streets of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Thursday evening as his casket arrived and was driven through the base.

Military officials had put out the word for servicemen and women to be present for Nishizuka’s return, and they showed up by the hundreds.

Born in Honolulu, Nishizuka, 30, graduated from Kailua High School in 2000 and earned an aerospace engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2005.

He was piloting an Air Force MC-12 Liberty aircraft that crashed April 27 near Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan, killing him and three other airmen.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. at Central Union Church. Burial is scheduled for Monday at 1 p.m. at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

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