Fallen service members honored in ceremony

| April 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

Mass Communication Spc. 2nd Class Jon Dasbach
Navy Public Affairs Support Element West Detachment Hawaii

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s state Senate and House of Representatives honored 17 fallen service members with the Hawaii Medal of Honor at the state Capitol, here, March 29.

The medals were awarded on behalf of the state of Hawaii to the family members of individuals who were killed in action while serving as part of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Ten Soldiers and seven Marines were honored during the ceremony.

“The Hawaii Medal of Honor is awarded on behalf of the people of Hawaii to Soldiers (and service members) who are connected to these islands and are part of our ohana, or family, forever,” said Shan Tsutsui, president, Hawaii state Senate. “Today, I am truly privileged and proudly humbled to take part in this ceremony to honor those who have sacrificed their lives in the event of our nation and its freedom.”

Recipients of the medals were active duty service members, reservists and Hawaii National Guardsmen who were residents of Hawaii, attended school in Hawaii or were stationed in Hawaii.

“This was the state of Hawaii honoring the sons and daughters of Hawaii,” said Lis Olson, mother of Spc. Toby Olson, who was awarded the Hawaii Medal of Honor in 2007.

The Olson family received the award at this year’s ceremony.

Although family members and friends represented only nine of the 17 fallen service members, all service members received honors, rendered with two bells after their names were announced.

At the end of the ceremony, the Hickam Honor Guard gave a 21-gun salute, which was followed by taps, performed by the Marine Forces Pacific Band.

“No one who puts on the uniform wants to die for their country, but they are, nonetheless, willing to, if it means their country will live in peace and security,” said Maj. Gen. Darryll Wong, adjutant general, Hawaii National Guard. “At the very least, such selflessness deserves public recognition on the highest order, and that is why we are here today.”

As of Dec. 31, 2010, 284 service members with Hawaii ties have sacrificed their lives while in the line of duty.

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Category: News, Observances

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