Today is Kamehameha Day, and in Hawaii that means a state and county holiday for many people. (But not Civil Beat. Grrr.)

To mark the occasion, John  Mizuno, the vice speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives, is reminding folks of a resolution passed by he and his colleagues earlier this year.

“Prior to the 2014 session I met with descendants of King Kamehameha the Great, requesting that I draft a measure to truly exemplify the work of King Kamehameha who united the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago under a single government,” Mizuno said in a press release. “As descendants of Kamehameha, Hawaiians have remained resilient and steadfast as part of the diverse people of Hawaii and continue to carry on the unique culture and traditions of their forefathers.”

King Kamehamea

A King Kamehameha float in the Rose Bowl parade, Pasadena, Calif., January 2011.

Flickr: Prayitno

Mizuno continued: “The accomplishments of Kamehameha are often overshadowed by stories of the Hawaiian people which focus on oppression by crippling disease, aborted treaties, and the eventual conquest of their sovereign kingdom. We sometimes forget that Kamehameha was a brilliant military strategist and was extremely disciplined and focused. He also displayed a rare humanity in battle and is credited with developing an early model for human rights policies on civilians and noncombatants.”

To that end, the House reso reads:

WHEREAS, appropriately known as the Napoleon of the Pacific for his courage and leadership, King Kamehameha the Great also displayed a rare humanity in battle and is credited for developing an early model for human rights policies on civilians and noncombatants; and

WHEREAS, this early humanitarian law called Ke Kanawai Mamalahoe, or “the Law of the Splintered Paddle,” is preserved in Hawaii’s constitution and serves as a unique and living symbol of the State’s concern for public safety; and

WHEREAS, in recognizing and honoring King Kamehameha Day, and celebrating the history and heritage of the Aloha State, the Hawaiian narrative is noted as one of both profound triumph and, sadly, deep injustice; and

WHEREAS, the story of Hawaiians oppressed by crippling disease, aborted treaties, and the eventual conquest of their sovereign kingdom, is filled with numerous accounts of feats of strength, unity, courage, and love; and

WHEREAS, the stories of this oppression are grim milestones that serve as a reminder of an unjust time in history, as well as the many pitfalls in the Hawaiian nation’s long and difficult journey to perfect itself; and

WHEREAS, through the peaks and valleys of the American story, Hawaii’s steadfast sense of community and mutual support shows the progress that results when people are united in a spirit of limitless possibility; and

WHEREAS, in the decades since their persecution, Hawaiians have remained resilient and steadfast as part of the diverse people of Hawaii who, as children of pioneers and immigrants from around the world, carry on the unique cultures and traditions of their forebears; and

WHEREAS, the State of Hawaii and the nation can all admire the traits and leadership of King Kamehameha the Great, the son of Keoua and Chiefess Kekuiapoiwa, and great-grandson of Keawe’ikehahiali’iokamoku; and

WHEREAS, the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii echoes the American Spirit, representing the opportunities for growth and understanding as the nation moves toward a brighter future; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-seventh Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2014, that this body honors King Kamehameha the Great and his descendants by sharing his story with a global audience, promoting ceremonies and activities that celebrate his vision, the spirit of Aloha, and the rich culture and heritage of Hawaii, and urging all of the people of Hawaii to do the same.

 

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