Memorial Day at Montrose Cemetery
• The Annual Memorial-Day Service was held by the Mutual Aid Society of Chicago at the Montrose Cemetery on Chicago’s North side. Since its inception in 1935, the Society has purchased cemetery plots and resold them to people and families in the Japanese American (JA) community at affordable prices. Moreover, the Society has helped with burial fees for those who died unable to pay. Now, over 2,000 families and individuals of JAs are resting in the Montrose Cemetery.
• MC Robert Kumaki reminded the attendees of the role of
the Mutual Aid Society saying, “Today, we honor not only the loved family
members and friends here in Montrose, but also spirit of those members of
the Mutual Aid of Society, who enable the memorial service to take place annually.”
• The Memorial Service started with posting of colors by
the Chicago Nisei Post #1183, followed by scripture reading and prayer by
Rev. Hiroyuki Hirunuma, chanting by Rev. Patti Nakai and Buddhist ministers,
invocation by Rev. Masanori Takeuchi, and presentation of flowers by 18 JA
and Japanese organizations.
• People in the Rosemont Cemetery
• George Watanabe visited his parents’ grave with his wife
Eunice. The couple’s old friends David and Joan Takada came from California
to join them on Memorial Day.
• Tonko Doi at the Japanese American Service Committee said that her husband, Paul, was also in Amache. Tonko was interned in the Rohwer camp when she was six-month old and moved to Chicago after WWII.
• Keith Mori visited his mother’s grave, whose headstone
read “Ayako Mori, 1931-1995.” He remembered how his mother was as, “typical
Japanese, old fashioned.”
• Juana and Willie Wong came to greet their church friend
John Takimoto. Juana remembered him as a funny guy, who was always smiling
and helped others.
George and Eunice Watanabe, and Joan Takada
Juana and Willie Won