Memorial Day evokes a number of immediate memories. Perhaps you are a veteran or a member of your family was.
When thinking about the meaning of the day, we think about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Collectively, this often leads us to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Pearl Harbor holds a revered place in our consciousness as Americans. For the lives lost, the jolt of how it hit the country, for the actions that came as a direct consequence.
Historians can argue and debate whether the world would be what it is today without Pear Harbor. This importance puts a particular pressure on Hawaii to ensure that Pearl Harbor is particularly well-honored each Memorial Day.
This year Hawaii will continue a Memorial Day tradition with the lighting of 7,000 lanterns! It’s known as the Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony, and its beauty will knock your socks off.
It starts at Ala Moana Beach’s Magic Island. Over 50,000 people are expected to descend upon the beach to take part.
According to the Lantern Floating Hawaii website, the event “… is a ceremony where all can come together for a personal and collective moment of remembrance, reflection, and offering gratitude to those who have gone before us. It is a chance to be surrounded by the love, understanding, and support of others”
The event was first held in 1999. It was a way to combine the traditions of Hawaii with the honor in Memorial Day.
The theme of this year’s festival is “Many Rivers, One Ocean – Interconnectedness.” Attendees will hear from a number of speakers including Her Holiness Shinso Ito. She is the head of Shinnyo-en, a Buddhist denomination.
— Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi (@LanternFloating) May 30, 2015
Organizers for this year’s event had a brief moment of panic when it was predicted that king tides would be swirling around the area. They have rechecked new weather maps and feel confident that they won’t affect the ceremony.
This sounds like a beautiful way to remember those who have gone before us. How will you remember those who died for our freedom?