19 families to receive Hawaii Medal of Honor at a joint legislative session
Honolulu – The Hawaii State Senate and Hawaii State House of Representatives will convene in a special joint session to recognize military service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The families of these fallen service members will all receive the Hawaii Medal of Honor on behalf of their loved ones.
The Special Joint Session of the Legislature is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2 p.m. in the Senate Chambers.
In 2005, Act 21 was signed into law, which created the Hawaii Medal of Honor (HMOH). This special medal is awarded on behalf of the people of the State of Hawaii to an individual who was killed in action while serving our country as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Recipients of the medal include members of the United Armed Forces, the United States Military Reserves, and the Hawaii National Guard, who were residents of the State of Hawaii, attended an educational institution in Hawaii, or were stationed in Hawaii by order of the United States Department of Defense.
As of December 31, 2012, Hawaii has lost 327 service members with Hawaii ties, who have sacrificed their lives, while in the line of duty. A listing of those service members who will be recipients of the HMOH is attached.
The effort to identify those eligible for the medal has taken many months,” said Rep. K. Mark Takai. “Working with all the branches of the military, we worked extremely hard to identify each servicemember who sacrificed their lives,” Takai said.
The primary next of kin and their families for each servicemember has been invited to attend. People from across Hawaii and the U.S. Mainland, from towns like Colonia, New Jersey; Vero Beach, Florida; and Waipahu, Hawaii, are expected to attend.
In offering the Hawaii Medal of Honor to those who will gather here, in memory of those who have fallen, we recognize that they are part of us . . . part of our ohana,” Takai said. “The Medal guarantees that they will never be forgotten. I hope that the children of these heroes will one day appreciate the sacrifices that their fathers and their mothers made on behalf of all of us,” Takai added.
The Joint Session will be broadcast live throughout the state via public access television. Parking in the basement of the State Capitol will be restricted to the honorees and invited guests.