Maui News

Nisei Veterans Memorial Center 10th Annual Dinner

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Nisei Veterans at the opening ceremony of the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, Education Center.  Photo Credit:  Melanie Agrabante.

Nisei Veterans at the opening ceremony of the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, Education Center. Photo Credit: Melanie Agrabante.

By Wendy Osher

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center on Maui hosts a 10th annual dinner this weekend, to honor veterans and ensure their legacy continues.

The event’s theme, “Heart and Soul of a Living Memorial” features keynote speaker, Jennifer Sabas, the director of the Daniel K. Inouye Institute.


Event organizers say Sabas will share special stories from the late senator — a decorated veteran who served with the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Also as part of the evening events, Maui’s Leonard Oka will present oral histories that have been transcribed from the words of 10 Nisei veterans. Oka is credited as the visionary behind the construction of the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, having worked for more than three decades to honor his late father, Clarence “Hekka” Oka.

Another featured guest is Brian Sato, who will share the background of his photo exhibit, now on display at the NVMC Education Center, that honors veterans and the Nisei community.


Entertainment includes a Koto performance by Bernice Hirai during the no-host cocktail hour; followed by contemporary jazz saxophonist, Jeff Kashiwa, of the Rippington’s, who will perform during dinner.

The event begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Maui Beach Hotel, Elleair Ballroom.

The cost for dinner buffet is $100 for adults; $25 for veterans and/or spouse; and $15 for children 6 to 11. Corporate table sponsorships are also available at a cost of $1500.


More information is available by calling the office manager, Melanie Agrabante at 244-6962 or emailing [email protected].

A separate veterans event planned on Maui is the 11th Annual Veterans Assembly hosted by St. Anthony in Wailuku. The event will run from 8:15 to 10 a.m.  on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the campus church center.

The St. Anthony event is put together by the school’s freshmen class, and attendance is open to the public.

Among those scheduled to be in attendance are: Karey Kapoi who will represent US Representative Tulsi Gabbard; Robert and Mary Vickers; Harry Smith; and others, who will be guest speakers.

Veterans Day this year is observed on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013.

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