PEARL HARBOR NAVAL SHIPYARD & IMF, Hawaii - Hawaii sets itself apart in so many ways, but one area that has always impressed me is the Aloha State’s reverence for all things related to people and culture. Hawaiian observances and traditions reveal this beautiful outlook.
On Monday, I plan to attend the Lantern Floating Ceremony which is held annually on Memorial Day at Ala Moana Beach Park and attracts more than 40,000 participants. From what I understand, the lanterns are inscribed by hand with prayers and messages and after a remembrance ceremony are launched lovingly into the water to honor those who gave their lives in service to country. The ceremony celebrates all life, but specifically pays homage to those veterans who perished in pursuit of our safety and freedom.
The somber ceremony opens with the kani pū (Hawaiian shell trumpet) and it involves prayerful and gratitude-filled oli (chanting). This local tradition showcases Hawaiian culture and the importance of protocol and etiquette in dedicating time to honor those who’ve sacrificed so much.
This year, not only do I hope that you dedicate time to reflect upon the selfless service performed by members of our military, but I hope you take a minute to remind yourselves that you are heirs of a noble legacy here in the shipyard. Heroes have walked where you walk and truly it is sacred ground.
Achieving on-time delivery of ships and submarines (safely and with first-time quality) with the right capability upgrades requires a multi-faceted approach. As we accomplish this, not only do we help the Navy protect the homeland and ensure global peace and prosperity, but we honor those veterans, service members and all shipyard workers who came before us.
People like you are our nation’s greatest asset because of your ability to develop innovative solutions to challenging problems and help maintain the most powerful Navy in the world. You are the force behind the fleet! Continue to strive for our culture of excellence. Happy Memorial Day, stay safe and mahalo nui loa!
(Editors Note: This message was given by PHNSY&IMF Commander, Capt. Burton to the SY workers.)
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