On Sunday, September 29, 1946, over 800 100th Infantry Battalion veterans, their families, friends and supporters attended Club 100’s first memorial service at Central Union Church to remember the 100th’s killed in action (KIA), for whom a formal memorial service or ritual could not be held in the heat of battle. One of the purposes of Club 100, as written into its bylaws, includes holding an annual memorial service on the Sunday in September closest to September 29 - the day in 1943 when Sgt. Shigeo "Joe" Takata of the 100th Infantry Battalion became the first Japanese American soldier in an AJA (American of Japanese ancestry) "Nisei" unit, to be killed in action in World War II. Before the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific - Punchbowl opened in 1949, the service was held in various places, such as the war memorial at the corner of King and Punchbowl streets and at the Clubhouse after it was built. The memorial service has been held as a joint memorial service since 2006, honoring the men who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion in World War II. We are grateful that the Nisei Veterans Legacy has adopted this joint memorial service for all of the World War II Nisei Soldiers, thus keeping our tradition alive.
As the number of graves increased with the passing of veterans, the surviving veterans and other volunteers placed flowers on the graves of their comrades the day before the service. ★ Volunteers are needed to join our members, family, and friends, as we decorate over a thousand graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. (HST) - the day before the Nisei Soldiers Memorial Service. Look for our table and buckets of flowers under the large tent. Wear sunscreen, a hat and comfortable walking shoes. We also suggest that you bring an empty pitcher to carry water to fill the vases. Help is also needed on September 23 to decorate over a hundred graves at the Hawai‘i State Veterans Cemetery in Kāneʻohe. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will tell you when and where to meet. ★ Please also join us on Sunday, September 24, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. (HST), for the 18th Annual "Nisei Soldiers Memorial Service," presented by the Nisei Veterans Legacy. The service will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), and will also be aired live online through 'Ōlelo Community Media, and on local cable television (see flyer for details).
★ On Monday, September 25, 2023 at 8 a.m. (HST), help is needed to remove flags from the Nisei soldiers graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Thank you for helping us to carry on these traditions, in honor of the World War II AJA soldiers.