Honors rendered at End of WWII commemoration

Veterans of the Military Order of the Purple Heart pose for a photo with Sailors aboard the Mighty Mo’.

Story and photos by Battleship Missouri Memorial

Seventy-three years ago, World War II came to an end when Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945.

Veterans, active duty service members, military leaders and community members came together aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial Sept. 2 to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the end of World War II.

The ceremony featured a keynote address from Hawaii Gov. David Ige, U.S. Army Col. Thomas J. Barrett as the distinguished guest speaker, music by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, and a rifle salute by Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s 3rd Marine Regiment.

This year’s ceremony paid a special tribute to the establishment of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team 75 years ago in Honolulu. Comprised entirely of Americans of Japanese ancestry, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team fought in many of the war’s bloodiest battles in Europe. Known for its motto, “Go for Broke,” the Soldiers in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team became the most decorated unit in the history of American warfare due to its incredible battle-field exploits.

World War II veteran Art Albert, former USS Missouri crewmember, chats with Chaplain (Maj.) Brian Koyn, who performed the invocation and benediction at the ceremony.

Ige, whose father, the late Tokio Ige, was a decorated veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, highlighted the power of reconciliation noting that the Japan-U.S. Alliance is the alliance of hope.

“As we remember the end of World War II today, let’s also remember the hope that Gen. MacArthur and the hundreds of Soldiers aboard the Mighty Mo’ had that day — to create a better world, founded upon faith and understanding for generations to come,” Ige said.

Barrett, the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii commander, spoke about the outstanding achievements of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the actions each individual Soldier took to protect the freedoms that all Americans enjoy today.

“The Soldiers of this regiment (442nd) understood and did their duty. This story of sacrifice and courage by the men and their families is the story of America and one which we must never forget,” Barrett said. “They are a part of the generation who helped end the most destructive war in history and preserve the greatest nation on earth.”

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team earned more than 9,000 Purple Hearts, eight Presidential Unit Citations awarded, 21 Medals of Honor, 29 Distinguished Service Crosses and hundreds of Silver and Bronze stars, setting the stage for the end of WWII, and laying the foundations for lasting peace.

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Category: News