HONOLULU (KHON2) — Next Monday, May 29, will be the return of the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Mayor’s Memorial Day Ceremony to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. 

The event is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said this will be a special ceremony because they did not hold it last year due to the COVID pandemic. 

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“With the tumultuous circumstances created by the pandemic and Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, our appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who came before us demand commemoration now more than ever. I am humbled to return our Memorial Day Ceremony to Pūowaina, a beautiful location honoring those who gave their lives in defense of our democratic ideals. May this event serve as a reminder that our gratitude is due every day, as we continue to preserve and enhance the principles, we hold to be righteous.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi

The first form of Memorial Day in the United States began after the Civil War as a day to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the armed forces. 

Since 1949, the City and County of Honolulu has worked with numerous veteran, community and educational organizations to help facilitate this time-honored ceremony. The ceremony is open to the public and includes speeches, presentation of wreath, music, aircraft flyover and salute using military weaponry.

One of the more distinct traditions at this ceremony is the placing of lei upon every gravesite within Punchbowl for Memorial Day. Every year the members of the community work together to make more than 30 thousand lei to fulfill this goal. 

Lei Drop-off Sites:

The city encourages everyone to make their own lei-making workshop and drop-off their lei at one of these designated locations. The lei need to be 10″-11″ when tied, and it is preferred to make flower lei, which are more visible on the gravestones.

Pāhoa High SchoolWednesday, May 25 by 1 p.m.
Ka‘ū-Kea‘au-Pāhoa District OfficeWednesday, May 25 by 1 p.m.
Hilo-Waiākea District OfficeWednesday, May 25 by 1 p.m.
Robert Louis Stevenson Middle SchoolThursday, May 26 by 9 a.m.
Kailua Intermediate SchoolThursday, May 26 by 9 a.m.
August Ahrens Elementary SchoolThursday, May 26 by 9 a.m.
Kainalu Elementary SchoolThursday, May 26 by 9 a.m.
All Honolulu Fire Department Fire StationsFriday, May 27 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Courtesy: City and County of Honolulu

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For more information on this upcoming ceremony head to the city and county of Honolulu’s website.