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Ceremonies, flyovers, lanterns to mark holiday

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Veterans, public officials and others will pay respects to fallen service members in Memorial Day observances Sunday and Monday across Oahu.

Events will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, Schofield Barracks, Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.

In addition, the Buddhist denomination Shinnyo-en will hold the annual Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony at Magic Island, a nondenominational event in which people will set lanterns adrift to express remembrances for loved ones and hopes for peace and harmony.

Here is more information on this weekend’s events, in chronological order:

» Memorial Day Observance, 10 a.m. Sunday, Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium

Lt. Gen. Duane Thiessen, commanding general of Marine Forces Pacific, and Ronald Oba, a World War II veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, will be the featured speakers. There will be a Marine Corps rifle detail and color guard, and performances by Hula Halau Olana and the Prince Kuhio Civic Club Chorale. Sponsored by Friends of the Natatorium, www.natatorium.org.

» Mayor’s Memorial Day ceremony, 8:30 a.m. Monday, National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl

Veterans organizations will present wreaths and colors, and Mayor Peter Carlisle will deliver the keynote address.

The service will also include the Royal Hawaiian Band, Sounds of Aloha Choir, a traditional gun salute and “Missing Man” formation flyover.

The city will have special bus service to and from Punchbowl. Route 15 buses will pick up passengers at the Alapai Transit Center from 7 to 8 a.m. Free parking will be available in the Fasi Civic Center garage. Regular fares and passes will apply. For more information visit www.thebus.org or call 848-5555.

» Memorial Day Remembrance ceremony, 9 a.m. Monday, Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery

The public is invited to this event. Representatives of veterans organizations will place wreaths in the cemetery. Col. Douglas S. Mulbury, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii, will be the speaker.

Nonmilitary attendees must enter through Lyman Gate off Kunia Road. Everyone 16 and older must present a government ID.

» Governor’s Memorial Day ceremony, 1 p.m. Monday, Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery, Kaneohe

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, state adjutant general, and Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary of veterans affairs, will speak and present a wreath at the Memorial Plaza Monument. The Coast Guard will perform a flyover, and the Hawaii Air National Guard will present a rifle salute. Sponsored by Hawaii Office of Veterans Services.

» Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Magic Island

More than 2,000 candle-lit lanterns are expected to be set adrift as people remember family members. This year’s ceremony will also include elements to honor the thousands of people killed in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, organizers say.

A limited number of lanterns will be available to the public beginning at 1 p.m. at a tent at Magic Island. There is no charge, but people may make a donation that will be given to the city.

People may also float their own lantern or submit a message that will be placed on a lantern. Go to www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com for more information.

The Magic Island parking lot will be closed to the public from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition, street parking will not be allowed on the makai side of Ala Moana Boulevard from Piikoi Street to Atkinson Drive. Free parking and shuttle vans will be provided at the Hawai‘i Convention Center from 4 p.m.

ON VACATION

June Watanabe is on vacation. Her “Kokua Line” column returns Tuesday.

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