Memorial to remember the 9 killed off the shore of Oahu

Published  6:18 PM HST Feb 09, 2013
HONOLULU -

Nine rings for the nine who lost their lives on Feb 9, 12 years ago just off the coast of Oahu.

The nine were crew members, teachers, and four high school students of the Japanese Uwajima Fisheries high school training ship. The Ehime Maru was struck by the USS Greeneville as the submarine surfaced.  

"The result of what happened 12 years ago, just a few minutes past, could have been anger, could have been retribution, could have been a sauntering of relationships, a tearing apart of two people," said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

But, Hawaii officials said gestures like creating this Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park has bonded the prefecture and Hawaii.

"This is an on going way to make recognition of a mistake and to apologize for the accident that occurred," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell.

Today is the Jusankaiki, an important 13th anniversary in the Buddhist tradition to share grief and remember the departed. Family, and friends, of those who lost loved ones lined up to show their respect.

"The families who lost their loved ones and the people of Ehime experienced an unforgettable deep sorrow at that time," said Vice Governor Keiji Joko of Ehime Prefecture.

It's taken more than a decade to create a strong sister state relationship between Hawaii and the prefecture since the tragic event.

"I of course hope and pray that our relationship will be even stronger an continue in the future," said Mayor of Uwajima City Hirohisa Ishibashi.

Hawaii officials said they are committed to making sure that those who lost their lives that day are not forgotten. The memorial  will remain a place of contemplation and peace.

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