The peaceful town of Honoka‘a was filled with people celebrating the United Nations International Day of Peace on Saturday, September 21, during its 7th annual Peace Day Parade & Festival, “Peace in the Streets,” and other related events. Thousands of people gathered to enjoy the colorful “moving stage” of music, floats and entertainment with a message–as taiko drummers, bon dancers, cirque performers, rock and roll and kachikachi bands, hula hālau and more, joined together in the spirit of peace.
Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko from Kohala and Waimea. Photo by Sarah Anderson Photography
A Peace Day Festival following the Parade featured food booths and entertainment, begun with a ceremonial chant and bell-ringing by Rev. Kosho Yagi of Honoka‘a Hongwanji . Music and entertainment was provided as a gift to the community by the Honoka‘a High School Jazz Band, Magician Bruce Meyers, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, the Big Rock band, the Hiccup Circus and others, and a large community Bon Dance that filled the field of the County Sports Complex.
Gerald DeMello of University of Hawai‘i read a proclamation from Governor Neil Abercrombie, in which he pledged continued support of “initiatives that inspire and further the advancement of peace throughout the State of Hawai‘i and the world.”
Gerald De Mello reads a proclamation from Gov. Abercrombie. Sarah Anderson Photography
The proclamation also quoted the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King: “One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.”
Sasaki family honored
Special guests for the Parade & Festival were members of the Sasaki family from Japan, whose sister and aunt Sadako Sasaki inspired the book “Sadako and the Thousand Cranes.”
The Sasaki ‘ohana in Honoka’a. Sarah Anderson Photography
Sadako was only a child when the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although she survived the blast, she later succumbed to radiation-caused leukemia, but not before working to reach her goal of 1,000 origami paper cranes, each enfolded with a wish for peace and healing. Nephew Yuji Sasaki, a popular singer in Japan, performed his song “Inori” in her honor at the Festival.
One of Sadako’s cranes will be part of a permanent exhibit at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center. Others reside in New York at the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center at Ground Zero, and in Vienna at the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution. Sarah Anderson Photography
Earlier on Saturday, the Sasaki’s donated one of Sadako’s original cranes to the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center for a permanent exhibit. Two others have been given, to the Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center at Ground Zero in New York, and to the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Vienna.
“199,000 Cranes” project
The Peace Committee has taken on a year-long project to gather origami cranes and send as a “flock” to the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Museum in Sadako’s honor.
Peace Day Cranes
Featured on KITV news, the “199,000 Cranes” project aims to reach their goal by Hiroshima Day, August 6, 2014. To contribute cranes, please contact by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Run for Peace
Saturday’s events also included the third annual 5K “Run for Peace,” directed by Sue DeLaCruz of Hamakua Health Center. All runners received a logo participation medal and awards were presented to finishers as follows:
- Overall Male and 16-18 Division winner: Tony Connors, 19:05
- Overall Female and 16-18 Division winner: Hildhang Adona, 24:58
Age Division Winners:
- 0-9 Male: Kyle Ignacio, 37:17
- 10-15 Male: Chaystin Peters, 25:12
- 19-29 Female: Amber Green-Weiss, 32:43
- 30-39 Female: Nani Maloof, 30:19
- 40-49 Male: Thomas Martin, 36:12
- 40-49 Female: Kendra Ignacio, 37:19
- 50 and up Male: Patrick Donovan, 31:40
- Masters Male: Don Choquette, 39:15
Cash Prize Division:
- Male: Seanry Agbayani, 20:38
- Female: Nani Maloof, 30:19
Peace Poster Contest
Also during Festival, winners of the annual student Peace Poster Contest were announced. Led by artist Jay West, poster entries were reviewed for focus on the theme, “Prepare for Peace,” purpose, layout and design, drawings, mechanics, creativity and neatness.
Posters displayed in Honoka’a. Sarah Anderson Photography
- 1st. Miami Minahan, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
- 2nd, Reina Moriguchi, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
- 2nd (tie), Ocean Yagi, Honokaa Elementary School
- 3rd (3-way tie), Samantha Allen, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
- 3rd, Kira Kumitake, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
- 3rd, Kaitlin Mercado, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
- 1st, Lyla Gonsalves, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
- 2nd, Brooke Peralta, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
- 3rd, Leah Delos Sants, Cathedral Catholic Academy, Honolulu
- 1st, Mae Lee Solomon, Honokaa Intermediate School
- 2nd, Terri Conner Honokaa Intermediate School
- 3rd, Quinlan Mata Bishop, Waiakea High School
- 1st, Joanne Bell, Honokaa High School
- 2nd, Zoey Chang, Waiakea High School
- 3rd, Tyana Yamamoto, Honokaa High School
Sponsor prize, presented by Waianuhea Bed & Breakfast:
- Brandee Samio, HHS
- Megan Kauni, HHS
“Peace in the Streets”
From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, the Honoka‘a Business Association teamed up with the Peace Committee to produce the first-ever “Peace in the Streets” activity.
The Zoo Choo
Musicians performed on four different mini-stages up and down Mamane Street; keiki enjoyed the inflatable Jump & Slide and Zoo Choo train rides and everyone had a chance to visit 21 participating businesses in town to win Scavenger Hunt prizes.
Winners were: Oarlene Wingate -$100 cash prize, Clinton Branco, Alicia Togi-Branco, Stacey Emerson, Mitchell Echavez, Branalyn Juan, Kaylene Torres, Moses Decoite, Megan King, Karen Yagi, Gary Tomes Jr., Barbara J. Moran, Annie Pacana, Lee Watanabe, Debbie Filippai, Melanie Ebreo, Shyla Kailalani, Yoshie Yagi, Jordan Marlin, and Ocean Yagi.
Earlier in September, other peace-related activities included a rummage sale fundraiser for the Carteret Atolls relocation project, support of the “Aloha Peace” award presented to President Obama’s half-sister Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, a “Day of Mindfulness” in Kalōpā State Park, reception and Peace Poster exhibit at C&J Woods and the Friends of the Library’s “Read for Peace.” The Peace Committee is open to all and new members are always welcome.
The United Nations has celebrated Peace Day since 1981. In 2007, as a result of lobbying by the teen group, United Junior Young Buddhists Association, the Hawai‘i State legislature and Governor Linda Lingle passed a law establishing September 21 as Peace Day in Hawai‘i. Hawai‘i is the first and only state in America to have a permanent Peace Day.
The 7th Annual Parade & Festival for the United Nations International Day of Peace was presented by the Peace Committee of the Honoka‘a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in cooperation with the United Nations and numerous community organizations. Major financial support has been provided by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i Social Concerns Committee, the Seymour Stern Memorial Trust and other generous sponsors.
The Peace Committee’s mission is to promote peace, compassion and the awareness of global interdependence by supporting activities year-round. It depends upon the community’s help and support for the continued success of the parade and festival annually. Contributions can be made as tax deductible donations, purchases of t-shirts and various sponsorship packages. Call 808-640-4602 or visit www.peacedayparade.org.
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Community, Entertainment, Hawaii | Tagged: Honoka'a, Peace Day Parade & Festival, Sadako Sasaki, United Nations, United Nations International Day of Peach | Leave a comment »