Our nation celebrated Veterans’ Day on November 11 this year, so the Da’ Hawaii Seniors Club honored their own veterans who served in the Armed Forces of the USA, on Thursday, November 14, 2019, at Cerritos Senior Center. After singing “Happy Birthday” to the club’s 10 November birthday members, the club’s Co-President Carol Roxas introduced the club’s 10 members who proudly served in the Air Force, Army or Navy of the United States.
The club’s ten veterans are George Agcaoili, Larry Anduha, John Fagaragan, Winston Goo, Don Izumihara, Pete Kahele, Calvin Kunimoto, Ed McCormick, Paul Nakamura and Frank Yoshii. Carol thanked the men for their service to our country and members showed their appreciation with their applause. The men then posed proudly for photos.
Ed McCormick wore a jacket from his service days, and Pete Kahele wore the uniform that he wore 50 years or more ago! He looked slim and trim in his old, but recently washed and cleaned, white uniform. He also had a colorful jacket with pictures and badges about his days in Vietnam. Pete, Ed, Don and Larry wore baseball caps that showed that they were veterans and the service in which they served.
After refreshments were served, Co-Program VP Marion Tesoro announced the different performances with a patriotic theme that followed. Kumu Hedy Harrison Anduha, her advanced hula class, and the club’s Na’ Kupunawahine, danced a hula to “God Bless America” with a recording. Kumu Hedy and her hula dancers danced to another patriotic song, “God Bless the USA,” later in the program.
After the first hula, David and Edna Ethington led the singing of the “Armed Forces Medley.” Members were asked to stand when their service’s name was called out, such as, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines. There were no Coast Guard or Marine veterans, but everyone joined in singing for all the services and sang “God Bless America” at the end of the medley.
More patriotic songs followed with different groups singing. Calvin Kunimoto led the group that sang “America the Beautiful” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Danny and Winona Chang led the group that sang “This Land Is Your Land,” and the “442nd Regiment Song”was sung by Frank Yoshii. All the singing was accompanied by Pete Kahele with his ukulele and Frank Yoshii with his guitar.
After all the patriotic songs had been sung and danced to, it was Kanikapila time where people could volunteer to sing songs. Frank Yoshii eagerly volunteered to sing “Hele on to Kauai” and “Lahaina Luna” and invited everyone to join in singing the songs. Hedy and her husband, Larry Anduha, stood nearby and joined in singing “Hanalei Moon” while her dancers danced the hula to the song.
The final Kanikapila song was “Dahil Sa Iyo” which was led by Hedy. She said it was like a Filipino national anthem that everyone just loved to sing. Many members and guests joined Hedy and joyously sang the song.
The meeting ended in the club’s traditional way of forming a circle, holding hands, and singing, “Hawai’i Aloha” and “Aloha O’e” which said “Farewell, until we meet again.”