Veterans’ Day in Hilo Town, 1943.

The 11th of November

Twenty-five years ago, on a Sunday, there was heard the ringing of the church bells here in Hilo. People asked one another, “What are these bells ringing?”

Calls to the telephone operator [kikowaena] rushed in, “Why are the bells sounding?”

The operator replied, “THE WAR IS OVER IN EUROPE. The opposing nations surrendered, and the Treaty was signed.”

That is when people began shouting, and those of the Chinese shops were woken up. Firecrackers were purchased and set off, and cars began going through the streets tooting their horns and dragging cans behind them. This did not cease until the hours of dawn came.

The following Monday became a great day in Hawaii nei and all of those victorious countries of the first world war. There were no bars in those days, because of the prohibition.

The following Monday was indeed the 11th of November, when some parades were held in Hilo nei. The first line of cars began to move forward and they were followed by other cars. The first car reached Kuhio Harbor and turned back to town, and yet all the cars had not yet begun moving because there were so many of them.

From that year on, a commemoration of the first world war was always held to the time when this second world war is being fought. But for these years we have been in we have commemorated the day, but not in the same fashion as the years before this war.

We have once again come to this day, and it is this coming Thursday. And as has been planned, there will be a memorial in the evening of Thursday at Mooheau Park. There is not going to be a lot a grand commemoration, being that we are in the middle of a war that is more severe than the first world war.

A memorial will be held at the Park like as follows:

The activities will begin from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the singing of the glee club [kalapu himeni] of Mrs. Helen Beamer and her people. A hula performance will also be given by some Girls, students of Mrs. Helen Beamer.

From 5:00 p.m. on the County Band [Bana Kalana] will put on a concert under the direction of Urban Carvalho.

The address that night will be done by Mr. Ernest de Silva, school superintendant [kumupoo hoohana] of East Hawaii.

A portion of this singing will be recorded and broadcast that evening from the radio transmitter of KHBC.

If you folks are not doing something at that time, come on down and see it for yourself at Mooheau Park. Be quick and come early so you get a place to sit, and if you want to become a soldier, come late and just stand.

(Hoku o Hawaii, 11/10/1943, p. 2)

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXVIII, Number 29, Aoao 2. Novemaba 10, 1943.

Ka Hoku o Hawaii, Volume XXXVIII, Number 29, Aoao 2. Novemaba 10, 1943.

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