By: Dianne Kujubu Belli, Chief Administrative Officer, Keiro
My family is not from Hawaii. My dad was born in Moneta (now part of Torrance) and my mom was a kibbei Nisei who grew up in Hiroshima and returned to Los Angeles after the dropping of the atomic bomb and the end of WWII. Nevertheless, both times that I have visited Hawaii, I have visited the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (also known as the “Punchbowl”). I visit Punchbowl not only because it is beautiful, but because I believe that it is important to honor the legacy and memory of all those who came before us.
I learned at Keiro’s recent Genki Conference: Veteran’s Edition on August 22, 2015, that it is still possible for a veteran, his/her spouse, minor children, and unmarried adult children with certain disabilities to be interned at the Punchbowl – and they do not need to be from Hawaii. There is also the possibility for the burial of casketed remains if space becomes available.
Keynote speaker Rex Kern, director of the Los Angeles National Cemetery, explained the burial benefits and funeral arrangements available for veterans and their spouses and dependents. Mr. Kern graciously allowed his presentation to be posted on Keiro’s website. He explained that burial benefits include the gravesite, opening and closing of the gravesite, grave liner or casket liner, headstone or marker, perpetual care of the site, Presidential Memorial Certificate, and burial flag.
Mr. Kern did indicate that while the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood is closed to new interments, efforts are underway to build additional columbarium niches.
For other power point presentations or photos from the Genki Conference: Veteran’s Edition, please go to Keiro’s website at www.keiro.org/veterans-2015
About the Author:
Dianne Kujubu Belli is the Chief Administrative Officer of Keiro. Dianne stays genki by doing cardio and light weight training four days a week at the gym and dances Argentine tango.
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