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Memorial Day 2024

Joint Memorial Service at the

Japanese American National War Memorial Court


As the bugler played Assembly, over 200 people gathered together to remember and honor our fallen heroes who gave their live in America’s wars.  Mistress of Ceremonies Kelly Sera asked the Redondo Union High School  Marine Corps Junior ROTC to present the colors.  After the invocation by Pastor Nick Tawa of Palos Verdes Baptist Church, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Patrol Leader John Asai of Koyasan Boy Scout Troop 379.  Asian Persuasion lead singer, Marlene Mitsuko Yamane sang the National Anthem.  Kevin Onishi, COO of Keiro greeted the audience followed by the presentation of the wreath by representatives of the sponsoring organizations:  Takao Suzuki-LTSC, Patricia Wyatt-JACCC, Kevin Onishi-Keiro, Richard Watanabe-JANM, Mitch Maki-GFBNEC and Linda Machida-Grundy-VMCA.  


Actress and community advocate, Tamlyn Tomita was introduced as the Keynote Speaker.  Her heartfelt speech honored all who gave their lives for our freedom with a special tribute to the Nisei Soldiers of 442nd/100th & MIS in WWII.  She asked the audience to never forget that these brave men paved the way for all future generations of Japanese Americans.  With the audience already in tears, Multi Platinum entertainer Harold Payne then sang his original composition “Quiet Heroes”.  Several Nisei men befriended him as a youth growing up in Gardena.  His respect for them only grew when he discovered what they had done in WWII and inspired him to write “Quiet Heroes”.  It was certainly a memorable performance by both Tamlyn and Harold.      

The focal point of the service is always the Honor Roll floral presentations.  

Representing Gold Star Medal of Honor families was Sally Hamamoto, sister of MOH Kiyoshi Muranaga.  Mrs. Hamamoto was escorted by 1st Sergeant Steve Mick, USMC.   

Representing all Gold Star Mothers and Fathers was Yoko and Paul Nakamura,  parents of Paul T. Nakamura, KIA in Iraq.  Mrs. Nakamura was escorted by Capt. Nguyen, USMC and Mr. Nakamura was escorted by Sara Kubo, Nisei Week 1st Princess.  

Over 60 others made floral presentation to honor the sacrifice of family members and friends.  

Many representatives of veterans and community organizations, including Consul General Kenko Sone also made floral presentations.   

Marlene Yamane then encouraged to audience to join her in signing God Bless America.  The rifle volleys and Taps by the ROTC preceded the benediction by Rimban William Briones and closing message by Patricia Wyatt, CEO of the JACCC.  

Mistress of Ceremonies Kelly Sera then closed the program and encouraged the audience to make a personal floral presentations.  


Tamlyn Tomita & Harold Payne


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