Rep. Mark Takai
Rep. Mark Takai

The Hawaii State House of Representatives took a moment of silence yesterday to mark 10 years since the Iraq War began.

Rep. K. Mark Takai, D-Aiea, who requested the moment of silence, said many service members and civilians have sacrificed their lives over the last decade to protect our basic freedoms.

About 4,500 US service members have been killed in Iraq, along with about 3,500 contract workers.

Takai established the Hawaii Medal of Honor ceremony held every year at the legislature to honor military personnel with Hawaii ties who were killed in action.

Since the war began, Takai has awarded 327 medals to families of our military heroes.

This year’s ceremony will take place on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 2 p.m. in the Senate Chambers of the Hawaii State Capitol.

“A grateful state best honors and remembers the sacrifices of those who have served our nation by living our lives in deepest appreciation of our freedom. That is what they defended and that is what they fought and died for. We honor them and their families with this moment of silence,” Takai said

Takai, who has served in the Hawaii Army National Guard since July 19, 1999, currently is a Major in the guard and is the Division Chief for Soldiers Services and a School Liaison.

He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Base Operations Officer (Camp Mayor) at Camp Patriot, Kuwait from February 2009 to September 2009, and served as the Company Commander of Charlie Company (Medical), 29th Brigade Support Battalion from November 2006 to May 2008. Mark was also called to active duty for six months (May to November 2005) and served as the Hawaii Army National Guard Deputy State Surgeon.

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