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Native Hawaiians and other residents celebrate Queen Liliuokalani’s birthday

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Native Hawaiians, other Hawaii residents and visitors gathered to celebrate Queen Liliuokalani’s birthday today with hula, mele and prayer on the grounds of Iolani Palace.

Among others, the girls of Halau Laonohi Mai Haehae, dressed in lavender and white, performed hula and sang songs commemorating the queen, a composer herself of poetry and music, including Aloha Oe.

But a number of attendees solemnly walked through roughly 1,500 names handwritten on white placards that lined the lawn of Iolani Palace yesterday searching for ancestors who may have signed the 1897 petition against the annexation of Hawaii to the United States.

The 1,500 names represent just a few of the  more than 21,000 who signed the petition against annexation of Hawaii to the United States in 1897. The petition was retrieved from the U.S. National Archives to Hawaii in 1997 by Noenoe Silva.

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