Hundreds poured into Kawaiahao Church in honor of former US Senator Daniel K. Akaka Saturday.
Senator Akaka’s celebration of life was conducted in both English and Hawaiian. A fitting tribute to the State’s first, and only, native Hawaiian to serve in Congress.
His ohana shared fond memories, musical performances and their deepest gratitude for the outpouring of aloha they have received from both near and far.
Akaka passed away on April 6th at the age of 93.
His wife, Mary “Millie” Akaka,their children and grandchildren gathered together to say their final farewell before the service.
Akaka was known for his warmth, generosity, compassion and his tireless dedication to helping others
“He loved everyone he contacted from Washington DC to Hawaii nei, to wherever he went,” said Danny Akaka, Jr., Senator Akaka’s oldest son. “But he felt a special urgency for his people of Hawaii.”
That love is why he was called the “ambassador of aloha.”
Honorable Governor, George Ariyoshi gave the eulogy at the service. Ariyoshi worked with Akaka for many years.
“I don’t know of any person who went to congress who had as many friends as Dan Akaka had. And I don’t mean only from Hawaii, but any congressman from anyplace making the kind of friends that Dan Akaka made when he got elected,” Ariyoshi said.
An avid music lover and singer, it was only fitting his children honor him with a gift of mele (song).
Three of his son’s performed “Hawaiian Lullaby” one of Akaka’s favorite songs.
“Music was really at the core of a lot of things he did as it is for each and every one of us,” said Danny Akaka, Jr.
Akaka’s voice and the contributions he made to his ohana as a husband, father and grandfather; to Hawaii as a member of congress; the United States during his time in the army when he served in WWII; and to the planet on environmental issues, will never be forgotten.
“Thank you Dan,” Ariyoshi said. “You rest in peace for everything you have done for us.”