Following the grand opening of Brave Park, Lakewood of Strathmore is creating a twinning program with the Pearl Harbour National Memorial, and the American Legion, Oahu Post.
Scott Silva, director of sales and marketing for the community of Lakewood, who attended a ceremony at Pearl Harbour, Nov. 8, said the goal for the partnership is to establish camaraderie between the legions and associated organizations.
“What we wanted to do at Brave Park was to immortalize those who have given sacrifices to us not only locally, or nationally, but also internationally,” he said. “What we are adventuring on is our first plaque and our first international recognition of those who have sacrificed for us both here and abroad.”
The process for getting everything established was launched Oct. 30, piggybacking on an opportunity he was taking to visit Pearl Harbour, Silva explained
In the three days allotted to creating the programme, the plaque was created, and letters of introduction and understanding of the Lakewood team’s intent were circulated to the National Memorial team in Pearl Harbour.
“I had no idea what it was going to look like, I was not expecting anything grand or anything large. We were hoping for a small ceremony where we could offer the plaques that we have been able to produce for them, and with hopes that we could bring something back from them in return,” said Silva. “Whether that is an artifact, a piece of memorabilia, something from them that we can then host at our legion as a significant tribute to not only those soldiers, but also part of the beginning of our exchange or twinning program with the American Legion and National Memorial in Pearl Harbour.”
Through the twinning program being launched, Silva explained the idea will be to share cultures, experiences, ideas, locales, and events.
He described it as a great way to embrace the differences between Oahu and Strathmore, share and celebrate them with one another.
“We would love to be able to see them and host them up here for Strathmore Stampede … also we would love to host them in the winter, although we do not know how excited they would be about that,” Silva joked. “Really, the exchange program is about exchanging everything from stories to camaraderie, to fellowship, to hosting memorabilia, to celebrations, to everything involving an individual’s military career and how that really stretches out to the community.”
Brave Park, which opened Oct. 21, stands as a memorial to honour first responders, police, and military personnel for their efforts and sacrifices.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times