Bishop’s Memorial Day Ceremony Benedction

Mayor’s (City & County of Honolulu) 69th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
May 28, 2018

Benediction by Bishop Eric Matsumoto
Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii

Please join me in a gesture of reverence and respect of your choosing for a closing reflection.

flower wreath on the grass with Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii ribbon/banneerToday, on the occasion of the 69th Annual Mayor’s Memorial Day Ceremony and the 150th Anniversary of Memorial Day as a national observance, let us reflect.

The original Memorial Day ceremonies honored those who died fighting in the American Civil War. Let us recall some significant facets of the early ceremonies. Memorial Day began with the actions of women in 1866 and in 1868 “flowers were placed on the graves of” both “Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.” Later, Memorial Day came to include all those who died fighting in all wars fought by our Nation.

The Memorial Day Organization emphasizes “Memorial Day…is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.” For our world and times today, may we take these last few moments to incorporate a global perspective filled with Aloha with Memorial Day as a world-wide observance in which we mutually honor all who sacrificed their lives regardless of nationality or country.

As we gather in remembrance and gratitude, guided and illuminated by All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion, may we gain insight into the oneness and preciousness of all life so as to aspire to higher plateaus of inclusiveness. Let us aspire for the peace and harmony of all peoples of all lands. May Compassion, Great Compassion, come to the forefront as our leading principle.

As a Buddhist sutra shares “May all life be happy. May they be joyous and safe. Let none deceive or despise any life in any state; Let none by anger or hatred wish harm to another. …let us cultivate an infinite goodwill towards the whole world.” Thank you.