Day at Montrose Cemetery
• On the rainy Memorial Day at the Montrose Cemetery, the hymn Amazing Grace induced Japanese Americans to remember their ancestors’ hard work to keep their families healthy and hopeful.
• The Annual Memorial Day Service was held on May 25 by the Mutual Aid Society of Chicago at the Montrose Cemetery on Chicago’s North side. More than 80 years ago, the majority of established cemeteries in the Chicago area would not bury JAs, but only Montrose Cemetery accepted JAs. Since its inception in 1935, the Society has purchased cemetery plots and resold them to people and families in the JA community at affordable prices. Moreover, the Society has helped with burial fees for those who died and were unable to pay. Today, over 2,000 families and individuals of JAs are resting in the Cemetery.
• In his opening remarks, Robert Kumaki
said, “Almost 80 years later, it seems almost unthinkable that this would
be the case. Montrose has been a continual friend to the JA community
• The Memorial Service started with posting of colors by the Chicago Nisei Post #1183, followed by scripture reading and prayer by Rev. Yuki Scroggins and Rev. Brandyn Simmons, the Buddhist chanting led by Rev. Ron Miyamura and the collective of Buddhist ministers, and the invocation by Rev. Kunihito Fumioka of the Tenrikyo Church.
• Also, the choral selections of “Gentle Voice” and “Sweet By and By” led by Chelsea Dolinar-Hikawa were offered, and the Gatha “Nadame”, “Nagasaki no kane” and “Furusato” were sung by Soyokaze Chorus led by Kinuyo Matsuhashi.
• People in the Rosemont Cemetery
• Pat Walters visits Montrose Cemetery
with her husband Richard every year even though the couple has lived in
St. Louis for many years. The couple, along with Pat’s brother Craig Yamamoto
cleaned and offered flowers for their grandparents, uncles and aunts.
• Chicagoan Cheryl Muszynske was cleaning
her father’s grave with her husband Joe and her brother Jim Corbett. She
said that her grandparents came to Chicago from Tacoma and stayed in the
city the whole time.
Nisei Post #1183
Christian Choir by Chelsea Dolinar-Hikaw
Rev. Yuki Scroggins
Consul General Toshiyuki Iwado offers flowers