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Every Punchbowl grave gets lei, state cemetery still short

By Tim Hurley

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:04 p.m. HST, May 25, 2014

<br /><br />Bruce Asato / basato@staradvertiser.com<br />Brady Kaya, 7, of Cub Scout Pack 488 in Newtown placed ti leaf lei on grave markers Sunday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. Hundreds of Scouts participated in the annual "A Good Turn" event to decorate every grave for today's Memorial Day services.<br />

More than 38,000 lei were donated to cover the graves of every veteran buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, but several thousand graves at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery will not have lei.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery was about 5,000 lei short of the amount needed to decorate the nearly 9,000 graves at the Kaneohe cemetery, said Willie Hirokane, operations manager at the state veterans cemetery.

Decorating veteran's graves at Punchbow with lei and an American flag is a tradition that dates back more than 60 years. But putting lei on the graves at the state cemetery is a relatively new tradition.

In recent years, there's been a shortage of lei donations and the national cemetery has only been able to fill the need with a last-minute push. 

This year, donations went so well at Punchbowl that it was able to donate 3,000 lei to the state cemetery, Hirokane said.

Many of the lei came from graduations that occurred over the weekend, officials said.

The Mayor's Memorial Day Service at Punchbowl will be at 8:30 a.m. Monday. The 16th annual Roll Call of Honor in Remembrance Ceremony at Punchbowl will be held at 10 a.m. 

The Governor's Memorial Day Ceremony will be at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery at 1 p.m.







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nitpikker wrote:
you'd think with all the graduation lei, no such thing as shortage.
on May 25,2014 | 01:35PM
mrluke wrote:
What's more important, 2 dozen lei for your son/daughter, or 1 for a serviceman's grave?
on May 25,2014 | 03:08PM
roxeee wrote:
Maybe there's a shortage in recent years because nowadays, a lot of people give ribbon or other non-floral leis.
on May 25,2014 | 03:53PM
uluaman2 wrote:
Every Punchbowl grave did NOT get a lei. Unless I'm missing something. We were at Punchbowl around 3:30 and we saw quite a few graves that did not have a lei. My dad's grave did not have a lei along with several others around his area. I initially thought that perhaps the rain interrupted the placements but that didn't make sense as the graves that did not have lei were not necessarily all together.
on May 25,2014 | 05:19PM
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