By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marissa Valentine, USS Shiloh (CG 67) Public Affairs
HAKODATE, Japan – Sailors from the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) led by Commanding Officer Kurush F. Morris marched in Hakodate, Japan Goryokaku Castle’s 150th Anniversary Parade May 18.
Shiloh arrived in Hakodate May 16 to participate in the commemoration of the 160th Anniversary of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s arrival to Hakodate in 1854.
“We are honored to take part in the celebration of a piece of history that has fostered and made stronger the friendship between U.S and Japan,” said Morris “This type of interaction helps Sailors develop a deeper appreciation for the Japanese culture and allows them to interact with the local people.”
In 1869, the conclusion of the battle of Hakodate in the civil war between the samurai and the new government, forces began a new era for the people of Japan. Every year in May a festival is held in commemoration of the warriors who died in battle.
Shiloh Sailors dressed in blues, along with local citizen wearing replicated war uniforms marched through the streets of Hakodate waving at children and families that gathered to celebrate the historical event.
“Seeing the pride the people of Hakodate take in commemorating their heritage made me appreciate the Japanese culture even more,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Katrice Diggs from Newark, New Jersey.
The procession march ended once inside Goryokaku Castle where a reenactment was held, followed by a performance by the city marching band. The day concluded with shots fired from three cannons to symbolize the completion of the event.
“This was the first parade I have ever had the honor to participate in, and it was a wonderful feeling to build friendships and celebrate with the people of Hakodate,” said Electronic Technician 1st Class Raymond Lau of San Francisco.
Shiloh is on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of operation supporting security and stability in the Indo- Asia- Pacific region.