I hope this email finds everyone safe, healthy, and well and able to successfully navigate the COVID-19 environment that has changed the world and our individual lives as we adjust daily to this new normal.
Though 2020 marks the 75th Annual NVC Memorial Day Service, the pandemic has forced our plans to change: the traditional in-person program has been cancelled.
Instead, after discussions with NVC Commander Walt Tanimoto, NVC Foundation President David Fukuhara, and Lake View Cemetery Director George Nemeth, we have decided to utilize technology to conduct a Virtual Memorial Day Service on Monday, May 25, 2020.
Factors driving this decision include: Governor Inslee’s shelter in place order, the likelihood of restrictions on gatherings of 10 people or more, the wish to avoid putting our senior citizens and all attendees at risk to COVID-19 exposure, general uncertainty planning anything that far in the future, and available technology and talent to pursue a virtual event as an alternative.
Going forward, we believe we have a good plan to develop a video with elements of the traditional Memorial Day Service. We are extremely grateful that Mercer Island High School Junior Lea Hidaka (Mark Hidaka’s daughter) has offered her time and skills to produce the video to honor the fallen soldiers from our community. We will plan to upload the program to social media sites: YouTube Channel, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (link) allowing veterans, their families, members of our community, and many NVC friends to view our tribute.
We have asked our Keynote speaker, Captain Ann Minami, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy, a to provide us a recording of her speech. Additionally, we will add recorded speeches from NVC Commander Tanimoto and NVC Foundation President Fukuhara.
Since we will not have the traditional prayer in front of the NVC Memorial and the Wreath Laying Ceremony, I will be reaching out to our Christian and Buddhist leaders for prayers and to community leaders to provide a brief written statement to incorporate into the video.
We will be utilizing photos taken from recent NVC Memorial Day services to add to the tribute along with a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, Taps, and background music.
The NVC Memorial Day Service is one of the longest standing memorial services in the Puget Sound Region. It Is the NVC’s highest visibility event each year and is attended by local print and television media; ithonors Japanese Americans who have died in action while serving the United States of America.
I will be reaching out to many of you to assist us in virtual lifting and support as we adjust and try something new to pay tribute and honor to these brave men from our community. Many thanks for your past and present support!!!
Please feel free to call me with any questions or ideas.
NVC Memorial Day Chair