U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Emperor, Empress of Japan visit National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

By Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis | | July 15, 2009

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HONOLULU - Japanese Emperor Akihito greets dignitaries at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, July 15.  Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Punchbowl Cemetery to lay a wreath and pause for moment of silence. The imperial couple's visit to the cemetery is the first since 1994. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis)(Released)

HONOLULU - Japanese Emperor Akihito greets dignitaries at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, July 15. Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Punchbowl Cemetery to lay a wreath and pause for moment of silence. The imperial couple's visit to the cemetery is the first since 1994. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis)(Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarlioti)


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HONOLULU - Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan bow their heads for a moment of silence at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific July 15. The imperial couple visited Punchbowl Cemetery to lay a wreath on their first full day after arriving on the afternoon of July 14. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis)(Released)

HONOLULU - Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan bow their heads for a moment of silence at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific July 15. The imperial couple visited Punchbowl Cemetery to lay a wreath on their first full day after arriving on the afternoon of July 14. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis)(Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarlioti)


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HONOLULU - Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko finish greeting dignitaries and prepare to depart the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, July 15. The couple visited Punchbowl Cemetery to lay a wreath and pause for a moment of silence. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis)(Released)

HONOLULU - Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko finish greeting dignitaries and prepare to depart the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, July 15. The couple visited Punchbowl Cemetery to lay a wreath and pause for a moment of silence. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarliotis)(Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Achilles Tsantarlioti)


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HONOLULU -Japanese Emperor Akihito and Retired Marine Col. Gene Castagnetti share a moment of silence at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years.  Castagnetti is the Punch Bowl cemetery director (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)

HONOLULU -Japanese Emperor Akihito and Retired Marine Col. Gene Castagnetti share a moment of silence at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years. Castagnetti is the Punch Bowl cemetery director (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso) (Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)


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HONOLULU - Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrive at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)

HONOLULU - Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrive at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso) (Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)


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HONOLULU - Staff Sgt. Stephen Davis leads the U.S. Marine Forces Pacific Ceremonial Band during  a visit by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years.  Davis is the MarForPac Band's enlisted conductor.  (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)

HONOLULU - Staff Sgt. Stephen Davis leads the U.S. Marine Forces Pacific Ceremonial Band during a visit by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years. Davis is the MarForPac Band's enlisted conductor. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso) (Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)


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HONOLULU - Marines with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, attended a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. The event was part of a visit by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)

HONOLULU - Marines with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, attended a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. The event was part of a visit by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso) (Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)


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HONOLULU - Cpl. Marcus Smith plays taps at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15, during a wreath laying ceremony and visit by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years.  Smith is a musician with the U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific Band. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)

HONOLULU - Cpl. Marcus Smith plays taps at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15, during a wreath laying ceremony and visit by Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members with a wreath laying ceremony. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years. Smith is a musician with the U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific Band. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso) (Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)


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HONOLULU - Staff Sgt. Mathew E. Nale assists Japanese Emperor Akihito during a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years.  Nale is the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, career retention specialist. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)

HONOLULU - Staff Sgt. Mathew E. Nale assists Japanese Emperor Akihito during a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) July 15. During their stay, the imperial couple paid tribute to fallen service members. Their July 14 arrival marks their first visit in more than 50 years. Nale is the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, career retention specialist. (Official U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso) (Photo by Sgt. Juan D. Alfonso)


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HONOLULU -- Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific July 15 to pay tribute to fallen service members and place a wreath in memory of those killed during World War II.

The imperial couple visited the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on their first full day in Oahu after arriving July 14.

Governor Linda Lingle and Navy Adm. Timothy Keating, commander, U.S. Pacific Command, greeted the couple as a 21-gun salute announced their arrival. 

The U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, band played as the couple arrived in the motorcade and made their way to the memorial. The couple, along with attendees, paused for a moment of silence after they laid the ceremonial wreath.

Marines participating in the ceremony said they felt privileged to take part in the significant event.

“It was an honor to represent the Marine Corps,” said Sgt. Robert Ian Manion, the MarForPac color sergeant.

“I had gone to Iwo Jima awhile back,” he said. “I had time to reflect and at one point there were no two greater enemies – and now the biggest thing (between us) is peace.”

The memorial, amplified by heavy rain, ended the imperial couple’s first Punchbowl visit in more than a decade on their second of three day visit to Oahu.

“I think it showed a lot of compassion,” said Sgt. Maj. James Roberts, sergeant major, Headquarters and Service Battalion, MarForPac. “It was an honor for the Marines and everyone there to participate in that remembrance. It showed we came a long way.”

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