A special Honolulu City Council recognition and a congratulatory ceremony were held today to recognize the 70th Anniversary of the opening of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (“Punchbowl”) and the outstanding keiki artists whose artwork were selected in this year’s 2019 Mayor’s Memorial Day Poster Contest.
Councilmember Carol Fukunaga, fellow City Councilmembers, Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Deputy Director Jeanne Ishikawa, and Gene Maestas with the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific recognized the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers in each of the three grade-level categories for their skillful and illustrative depictions to help inspire our communities to “Sew a Lei for Memorial Day.”
Following that special recognition, Deputy Managing Director Georgette Deemer and DPR staff provided additional prizes to the winners. Those winners include:
Kindergarten – 4th grade division
1st – Paiʻea Gersaba of Myron B. Thompson Academy
2nd – Madison Mikami of Moanalua Elementary School
3rd – Yu Kurachi of Royal Elementary School
5th – 8th grade division
1st – Aileen Kang of Punahou School
2nd – Ashley Yu of Stevenson Middle School
3rd – Chissy Hori of Sacred Hearts Academy
9th – 12th grade division
1st – Kyla Mach of Kapolei High School
2nd – Cristen Gadicho of Kapolei High School
3rd – Rhendyn Allen of Kapolei High School
This year DPR nearly 800 poster submissions from 40 different schools across the state. A special mahalo to the three schools who entered the most posters:
1. Pālolo Elementary School – 190 entries
2. Royal School – 151 entries
3. Kahului Elementary School – 121 entries
To view and download digital copies of all nine of the winning submissions, please click here. They will additionally be on display until the end of May at Kapolei Hale and the third floor of Honolulu Hale outside the City Council Chambers. The artwork will also be digitally displayed on the DPR’s special Mayor’s Memorial Day Ceremony webpage.
The City and County of Honolulu has coordinated the annual Memorial Day Ceremony as well as the collection of flower lei for each gravesite at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Pūowaina) since the cemetery opened its gates in 1949. Along with the lei, an American flag is also placed by each grave by the Scouts of America prior to the Memorial Day Ceremony. This time honored tradition is our uniquely local display of gratitude for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
To help the Department of Parks and Recreation gather some 38,000 lei to accomplish this goal, the poster contest is organized so our talented keiki artists can be a part of spreading the word about this annual endeavor.
“Not only does this poster contest show-off the amazing skills of our keiki artists,” said Jeanne Ishikawa, “it helps to inspire all of us to continue the solemn tradition of remembering those who sacrificed while serving our country. We encourage all schools and businesses statewide to organize lei collection to remember those who have served our state and our country.”
Special thanks to the numerous students and teachers who gave their time and skills to be part of this year’s contest, the State Department of Education, and First Hawaiian Bank for their continued support.
The annual Memorial Day Ceremony will be held Monday, May 27, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Pūowaina) beginning at 8:30 a.m. For more information about the ceremony, how you can help with our lei gathering and lei making opportunities, and the history of the ceremony in Honolulu, please visit the Department of Parks and Recreation special Memorial Day webpage by clicking here.