Honolulu Remembers King Kamehameha the Great

Today was a State of Hawaii holiday and the State offices were closed. Some other businesses took this day off as well.

Honolulu Fire Department layering lei on statue

One of our news stations reported that the start of the Kamehameha Day weekend was marked by the hoolaulea in Waikiki on Friday night. I disagree. The start of this annual commemoration began two or three hours before sundown on Friday afternoon at Ali’iolani Hale (location of the judiciary across from Iolani Palace).

Floral gift for Kamehameha statue

This is the location of the well-known and familiar statue of Kamehameha the Great. It is here that the festivities began. the Honolulu Fire Department and students from Kamehameha Schools bestowed the traditional gift of aloha on the ten-foot high image in honor of the King’s memory.

Kamehameha Schools with completed statue

Long before the start of the parade through Waikiki on Saturday morning, groups and businesses donated streams of beautiful flowers to share in this age-old tradition.

Keiki Hula Halau

A keiki halau was present to perform for those in attendance while a group sang and played Hawaiian music. Spectators and readers may ask, “Why?” and wonder why the focus is so strong after all this time.

Kamehameha Statue covered with flowersKing Kamehameha was Hawaii’s most powerful ruler who created a large army and was able to unite the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1810. He was a fierce warrior but only when it was necessary to be one. Once the islands were united and the Kingdom established, he became known as a strong but fair ruler.

He established foreign trade and established a system of laws, one of which was to protect the weak from the strong. He himself was a powerful, no-nonsense warrior but he was also a compassionate ruler.

Before his death, King Kamehameha said, “E nai wale no oukou i kuu pono, aole e pau.” (The good I have done will always remain.) Now with that statement I have to agree! The islands remained united and his memory will, obviously, always remain as it is remembered and kept alive by the people of Hawaii.

Mahalo to the participants in all of the festivities this past weekend for keeping this piece of history alive.

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