Bay Cities Joint Memorial Day Service Held at Woodlawn

Participants in the Memorial Day ceremony pose in front of the Ireito at Woodlawn Cemetery. (GEORGE TOSHIO JOHNSTON/Rafu Shimpo)

SANTA MONICA — The 58th Bay Cities Japanese Community Joint Memorial Day Service was held on May 29 in front of the Ireito (memorial tower) at Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica to honor the area’s Issei pioneers and Nisei soldiers.

Beverly Yahata of West L.A. Buddhist Women’s Association gave opening remarks, Boy Scout Troop 764 conducted the presentation of colors and Pledge of Allegiance, Rev. Kory Quon of Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple chanted a sutra “Juseige,” and Rev. James Miyabe of Venice Free Methodist Church gave a prayer in English.

Judy Okita of West L.A. Japanese American Community Center introduced those who made floral and incense offerings, including Jimmy Fukuhara of Santa Monica Nikkeijin Kai, John Ikegami of Venice Japanese Community Center, Dr. David Fong of Venice Free Methodist Church, Robert Kafka of West L.A. Buddhist Temple, and Isao Ikehara of West L.A. Holiness Church.

Rev. Brian Nakamura led the gathering in singing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and gave a sermon in English. Rev. Takashi Furuyama gave a sermon in Japanese. Both ministers are from West L