Young Marines Units From Across the Nation Travel to Hawaii for 50th Anniversary of the Dedication of USS Arizona Memorial Site

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Members of the Young Marines, a non-profit youth education and service program for boys and girls, will lead the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu during the 71st anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration which includes the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the USS Arizona memorial site.

A youth member of the Young Marines greets veterans at the Pearl Harbor memorial site during the 2011 Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu.

A youth member of the Young Marines greets veterans at the Pearl Harbor memorial site during the 2011 Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu.

Undoubtedly, the Young Marines will meet some of the survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Those veterans are, in every sense of the words - living history, and each has a story to tell.

Sixty-eight youth members of the Young Marines from 11 states will travel to Hawaii to participate in the 71st anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration which includes the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the USS Arizona memorial site and the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In addition, 22 adult volunteers for the Young Marines will accompany the youth members.

“Undoubtedly, the Young Marines will meet some of the survivors of that historic event of 71 years ago,” said Michael Kessler, national executive director of the Young Marines. “Those veterans are, in every sense of the words - living history, and each has a story to tell. It is an honor to attend an event that commemorates a significant turning point in our nation’s history.”

On Thursday, Dec. 6, the Young Marines will perform a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in memory of all the brave men and women who are interred there. The involvement of the Young Marines is made possible with the help of Nadine L. Siak, public affairs specialist of the cemetery.

On Friday, Dec. 7, the Young Marines will lead the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu. They will carry the banners of the twelve capital ships that were attacked. The parade’s objective is to honor the heroes and survivors of Pearl Harbor and World War II, to pay tribute to veterans, active duty military members and military families, to celebrate freedom and to keep in remembrance the heinous events of Dec. 7, 1941.
The participating Young Marines units are:

  •     LaPeer County - Michigan Regiment, MI
  •     Colorado Springs - 1st Midwest Regiment, CO
  •     Three Rivers - Southern New England Regiment, CT
  •     Cincinnati - Ohio Regiment, OH
  •     Hamilton - Maryland Regiment, MD
  •     Boston - Southern New England Regiment, RI
  •     Carbon Glacier - North West Regiment, WA
  •     North Knoxville - Tennessee Regiment, TN
  •     Lt. Alexander Bonneyman - Tennessee Regiment, TN
  •     Poudre River - Midwest Regiment, CO
  •     Southeast County - California Regiment, CA
  •     Upper Marlboro - Maryland Regiment, MD
  •     White Plains - Southern New England Regiment, NY
  •     Heart of Texas - 1st Texas Regiment, TX

Young Marine units raised funds at their local level to supplement the costs of traveling to Hawaii to attend the commemoration ceremonies. The youths used their creativity, and applied the program’s core values - leadership, teamwork and discipline - to implement unique and effective fundraising efforts.

“When the opportunity to travel to Hawaii arose, the members of the Young Marines started moving mountains in their fundraising efforts,” Kessler said. “The result is a testament to the dedication of these young people.”

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.

For more information, visit http://www.YoungMarines.com.

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Andy Richardson
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