Rev. Eric Matsumoto, Bishop of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, pays respects to our fallen veterans and their families on behalf of HHMH, its member temples, and the Office of the Bishop. The text below is a transcript of a 2-minute video that includes photos from past Memorial Day observances, as well as a few from May 24, 2020, when several Hongwanji Boy Scout families dropped off lei in front of the Annex Temple to decorate the WW II Memorial on the Hawaii Betsuin campus.
2020 Memorial Day message from Bishop Eric Matsumoto
Aloha kākou. On this Memorial Day 2020, let me express my sincere hope that you are well.
Under current circumstances, with COVID-19, we are not able to pay our respects to our fallen veterans around the world — including here in Hawaii — in traditional ways with large public gatherings at veterans cemeteries and visiting columbariums. Thus today, on behalf of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, including all of its temples, please accept this message from the Office of the Bishop in recognition of all men and women, including their families, who made tremendous sacrifices in the name of equality, freedom, and democracy. We humbly express our gratitude for their loyalty and courage.
Although, due to COVID-19, we are not able to gather this year in traditional ways, please know it does not lessen our gratitude and appreciation. Again, please accept this tribute in lieu of traditional customary practices on Memorial Day. I’m sure our fallen veterans would want all of us, including you, to be safe and be able to live in good health that freedom equality that they fought so hard and died for.
As we honor our deceased veterans and their families, let us embrace the aspiration for world peace and more harmony in our world. May peace and harmony prevail for all people of all lands.
Thank you, and Namo Amida Butsu, entrusting in all-inclusive wisdom and all-embracing compassion.
Namo Amida Butsu