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Memorial Day ceremony at Punchbowl set; public is welcome to sew and donate lei


    Emily Bagley, behind left, with her two sons, Eli, left, and Micah showing the lei they were making, in May 2017, at Honolulu Hale.


    About 1,500 Boy Scouts placed flags and 38,000 lei on graves in the National Cemetery of the Pacific for Memorial Day in 2015.

The city presents the 69th Annual Mayor’s Memorial Day Ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, starting promptly at 8:30 a.m. on Monday in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will feature several tributes, including a presentation of wreaths, aircraft flyover, playing of taps and performances from the Royal Hawaiian Band and Sounds of Aloha Chorus.

Meanwhile, the city welcomes the public’s help in sewing lei for Memorial Day to help meet its goal of placing an estimated 38,000 lei on gravesites within the cemetery.

The public has several opportunities to donate their pre-made lei and share their lei-making skills or materials.

>> From 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, volunteers, including those with no prior lei-making experience, may help make lei at workshops to be held at Kailua District Park, Kilauea District Park, Makua Aliʻi Senior Center, Manoa District Park, Waialua District Park, Waianae District Park, Waimanalo District Park and Waipahu District Park.

>> From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Honolulu Hale will host a lei-making event featuring live music and hula performances.

During these workshops, the public is invited to drop-off fresh flowers or pre-made lei. Please rinse the flowers prior to the donation.

Purchased or donated lei, measuring 20 to 24 inches in circumference, may also be dropped off at numerous locations across the state, including all Honolulu Fire Department stations (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), some city parks and federal fire department stations, and designated Department of Education school facilities.

The public can also bring lei donations to Punchbowl from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday.

Parking within Punchbowl will be extremely limited at the ceremony, according to city officials, so the public is encouraged to take advantage of TheBus and free parking at the Joint Traffic Management Center on Kealamakai Street. Overflow parking will also be available at Abraham Lincoln Elementary and Robert Louis Stevenson Middle schools.

TheHandi-Van reserved rides and marked taxi cabs will be allowed to drive into the cemetery for drop-offs.

Covered seating is also limited at the ceremony, so sunscreen and water are recommended. Reserved seating will be offered to veterans and invited guests. Remaining seats will be offered to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors are asked not to bring their own chairs into the cemetery.

The Scouts of Hawaiʻi will be placing lei on every gravesite in Punchbowl on Sunday during an event beginning at 1 p.m.

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