THE MONTH OF MAY HAS TWO HOLIDAYS THAT CELEBRATE THE SERVICE OF OUR FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN
Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, commemorates men and women who died while in military service. Originally to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War, the name Memorial Day wasn’t used for the annual May 30th holiday until 1882. In 1968, to create a convenient three-day weekend, the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill , moving the celebration to the last Monday of May. Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, has repeatedly introduced measures to return Memorial Day to its traditional date.
More than 2,335 veterans and survivors are buried in Maui Nui veteran’s cemeteries on Lanai, Maui, and Molokai.
Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service. The day was created to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches — the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard — following the consolidation of the military services in the Department of Defense. On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.
Hawaii is home to 118,000 civilian veterans (those who have served, but are not now on active duty).
More than 2,100 veterans returning to Hawaii from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan received post-conflict care in at five Vet Centers, including one in Wailuku, Maui.
General Information – Hawaii
Number of veterans: 117,254
VA expenditures in Hawaii: $384 million
Compensation and pensions: $217 million
Readjustment benefits: $20 million
Medical and construction programs: $160 million
Insurance and indemnities: $10 million
Number of veterans receiving disability compensation or pension payments in Hawaii: 17,435
Number of Hawaii veterans using GI Bill education benefits: 2,521
Number of home loans in Hawaii backed by VA guarantees: 2,242
Value of Hawaii home loans guaranteed by VA: $964 million
Number of VA life policies held by Hawaii residents: 9,454
Value of VA life insurance insurance policies held by Hawaii residents: $132 million
Number of Hawaii participants in vocational rehabilitation: 586