Hundreds of local girl scouts and their families sewed lei for fallen service members Saturday at Windward Mall. It’s a tradition that began six years ago when one girl scout learned the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe only had 5,000 lei for its 11,000 tombstones.

Girl Scout Marissa Lum said, “We saw that the veteran cemetery needed more leis because more veterans are being buried there and there was a shortage of leis so we decided to extend the project and make as many leis as we can for the veteran cemetery.” 

This year a record breaking number of lei was sewn and donated, ensuring that each gravesie will receive one.

“My grandpa was one of the veterans so I came out here to donate more leis because grandpa meant a lot to me,” said Girl Scout Anastasia Apana.

“The girl scouts are going to the cemetery where my grandpa was buried. It makes me feel kind of happy to see him because every time we visit one of our family members, we say a prayer, tell them something new that happened,” said Apana. 

The girl scouts will be draping the lei on the tombstones on Sunday.

Fresh lei is still need for the National Memorial Cemetary of the Pacific at Punchbowl. Donations will be accepted from 8:00a.m. – noon on Sunday.