Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade makes debut

High school bands from across nation fill Waikiki

 UPDATED 11:48 PM HST Dec 08, 2011
young marines
HONOLULU -

Over and over again today these words were uttered: Commemorate the Past, Celebrate the Future.

And that's what happened in Waikiki with a first of its kind Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.

"I'm so overwhelmed. I just can't believe what happened today," said Pearl Harbor Veteran Harold Dove who traveled here from Indianapolis, Indiana.

More than a thousand high school band members from across the country played their hearts out in honor of the men and women who fought on that day 70 years ago: December 7th, 1941.

"It's really awesome to be here and represent the USS Arizona. What a fantastic experience," said Jim Young, whose son is playing trombone in the band from Arizona.

The students and their communities spent more than a year raising money to be in Hawaii.

Many of them are from states where battleships such as the USS Arizona lined Ford Island 70 years ago to protect our country.

"We got a number of different states here and the students all know now about it and hopefully they'll take those memories back with them," said Event Chair Joel Briggs.

At Fort DeRussy where the event started, dignitaries, survivors, band members and young marines all gathered before the parade.

It took organizers nearly two years to make it happen including bringing in more than 30 survivors - some returning for the first time since the attack.

"I saw the Arizona sink and I can still feel the explosion," said Dove.

He says it was a fitting tribute to the men and women that lost their lives and he couldn't be more proud to share his stories and share his pride with the next generation who are here to remember and celebrate the journey for freedom.

"These kids recognize the freedom they have doesn't come without sacrifice," said Briggs.

Do you want to print this page now?