Inouye memorial ceremony at Punchbowl to include dozens from Washington D.C.

Preparations being finalized for Sunday ceremony

Published  6:24 PM HST Dec 20, 2012
HONOLULU -

Sen. Daniel Inouye's coffin will arrive at the National Memorial of the Pacific at Punchbowl at about 10 a.m. on Sunday.

His casket will pass flags at half-staff, there will be 19 shots from cannons near the entrance, a three-gun volley, as well as a F-22 flyover by fighter jets, which was cleared in short order by the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday.

Dozens of dignitaries, many sitting congressional members, will be flying in from Washington D.C. to remember their dear friend and colleague in his home state.

"We have a congressional delegation, maybe one or two planes coming in from Washington DC. just carrying Congress people," said cemetery spokesperson Nadine Siak.

On a table behind the dedicatory stone will be a picture of the senator, five flags, including a senate flag, along with three more American flags that will be presented to his wife Irene, his son, and his three-year-old granddaughter.

The ceremony is expected to last about an hour, and will feature four speakers, including Sen. Harry Reid.

It will include a strong military presence, including the Army Band, ushers, the color guard, and more, also arriving from Washington D.C.

"This is going to be a military funeral and there are a lot of military commands who want to be involved," she said.

The senator will join his first wife, Maggie in the same plot buried at Punchbowl, with his second wife, Irene, having the option to do the same.

Inouye's family said the late senator will be buried at a later date in a private ceremony.

Despite numerous calls by the public to bring flowers, wreaths and lei, Punchbowl Siak said the senator just wants it simple.

"He was very much a low-key individual and the family to do something that would be more in his style," she said.

Siak said the public is welcome to attend, but no parking will be allowed on memorial grounds.

Dedicated buses and shuttles will be available from Stevenson Middle School, Alapai Transit Parking and Civil Center parking, but as of Thursday night, no schedule had been finalized.

People are allowed to walk into Punchbowl, but are reminded gates will likely close for the ceremony at about 9:30 Sunday morning.

As of Thursday night, it was still unclear as to whether President Barack Obama would be attending the ceremony.

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