Dave’s command hosted a Bon Festival on Friday, August 25th. Bon is a Japanese Buddhist tradition to honor the spirits of the ancestors. The festival was a huge success. There was a large attendance of SRF employees, their families, and military members and families of the Yokosuka community. There were a variety of American and Japanese food vendors, beverages, and games for kids. A large stage was assembled where numerous types of dances were performed throughout the evening. 

I invited my friend, Miki, and her husband to join us for the celebration. 

For the festival, Dave and I both wore the Japanese summer kimono- a Yukata. I was dressed for the evening by a kimono expert! 

Miki found the Yukata for me and helped me find a matching obi. The kimono dresser made my obi into a beautiful bow! I received numerous compliments on my big bow! Kawaii! 

Dave also received compliments. On the back of his Yukata was Sakura. 

A highlight of the evening was a story Miki told me about local Bon Festivals. The celebration continues until 9pm. At 9pm, the kids attending the festival are given free ice cream. This signals the end of the festival and time to go home. One of the officers in the SRF wardroom came around towards the end of the festival giving away Klondike bars. It was a funny coincidence! Miki enjoyed her free ice cream! 

Out of respect for the fallen sailors aboard the USS John McCain, the celebration part of SRF Bon Festival was a bit subdued. The dances were performed, however, we did not participate. During the opening ceremony of the festival a moment of silence was held for the 10 sailors who died, their families, and shipmates. We continue to hold them in our hearts and thoughts during this incredibly difficult time.