Crowd at Wahiawa parade reflects on veterans’ sacrifices

| November 18, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Spc. Hillary Rustine
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division 

Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, explain the M109 Howitzer to Shelden Sazki, and his son, Logan, 6. WAHIAWA — The local community turned out to celebrate veterans with the 65th Veterans Day Parade, here, Nov. 11. 

The parade, arranged by the Wahiawa Lions Club, started on California Street and ended at the Wahiawa Recreation Center. 

“Seeing the community come together to recognize the veterans in this way is amazing,” said Staci Swotk, the wife of a Soldier who was present at the event.   

“I am honored to be here and part of this event,” said Dr. Shigeo Kawamoto, grand marshal of the parade, who had served in with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Italy and France during World War II. 

The local community came together not only to honor friends and family members in the military, but also to teach children about the military and what military service means to the community.

“I come here every year,” said Jerry Omalza, who served in Vietnam between 1968-1969.

He added that he comes to support the military and thought it was important to bring his granddaughter to the parade this year.

“I think it’s good for the community and for kids to see the military, and see what our freedom costs,” said John Caban, who attended the parade with his daughter, Kaui Lorinzo. “The military always tries its best to work with the community.”

 Lorinzo’s older brother serves in the National Guard.

Speakers at the event included Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux, commanding general, 25th Infantry Division. 

“Only in America can we stop everything we are doing and roll out to honor our veterans,” Champoux said, during his keynote address.

He mentioned the local community and its relationship with the military. 

“This area has opened (its) hearts, homes and community to take care of the military,” Champoux said.

Category: Community, Community Relations, Observances

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