Memorial Day 2017

I finally got to do something that I’ve been wanting to do for the last couple of years, but have been getting sidetracked by baseball games.  And by side trips to Utah.

Ane and I attended the Memorial Day service at Evergreen Washelli Veterans Memorial Cemetery.  My grandfather, great-uncle, and great-grandmother are all interred at the columbarium on the same side of the street (the cemetery is a large complex), so we parked there and visited them first before walking up to the Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

The service was a little less than an hour long, but we were there early for the half-hour long concert given by the Seattle Pacific University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Drum Corps.  The weather was bright and sunny, warm with fresh breezes, so it was perfect.  It was a lovely and respectful service, but by the end of it, Ane was wilting.  Poor kid.  She’s such a Pacific Northwesterner, she can’t handle more than an hour in the sun.

I had thought we would go on the walking tour of the Medal of Honor gravesites that was happening after the service, but Ane was literally dragging.  She offered to stay with me, but her heart wasn’t in it.  So after a few stops, I told her we could leave.  We stopped to see the cannons that came from the USS Constitution and are placed at the walkway to the Chimes Tower.

The Medal of Honor gravesites were marked off with chains to make them easier to find, and we located William Kenzo Nakamura’s grave, who served in the 442nd.

What I found, that I did not expect, was so many other Nisei of the 442nd resting in rows around him.

And I wished my Ojiichan was still alive, because I bet he knew some of them.  And I also reflected to Ane that, but for him being medically discharged out of boot camp, he might have been lying here along with them – and neither of us would have been there today.  It was a really poignant moment in our Memorial Day.

Ane felt better once we were back at the car and the air conditioning was blowing in her face.  Next year, we may make it back.  But now that I have a map of the Medal of Honor gravesites, I can go on my own time – and maybe without kids.

One Response to “Memorial Day 2017”

  1. Nana
    June 6th, 2017 07:16

    So glad you did this. I know you will be back, and the rest of the family.