Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Many Rivers One Ocean

Memorial Day 2011

Many Rivers One Ocean - the theme in the Lantern Floating Hawaii

Every year for the past 13 years, Hawaii has celebrated the lives of passed on loved ones every Memorial Day. It's a free event that fills Ala Moana beach with thousands of islanders and visitors alike. The event is open to all with or without a religious preference but is lead by the Head of Shinnyo-en Buddhism - Keishu Shinso Ito. Floating lanterns is a Japanese tradition that started long ago. Its a beautiful ceremony with hula dancers, guest performers, and Japanese Taiko drummers. This beautiful tradition symbolizes the wish that all coexist in peace. As the lanterns are released into the ocean, it takes with them thoughts and prayers for all those victums in dispare and hopes of happiness and joy for all - past, present and future.
I was blessed to enjoy my first lantern ceremony this Memorial Day evening with my sister, Sherilyn. It was a very memorial day! As we got there we found a sweet spot in the shade of our vietnamese neighbor's tent which had a great view of the big screen. We also sat behind the host Billy V, a local tv host; so we ended up on TV! Well, kinda Sherilyn lovingly made sandwiches but we soon eyed some beachgoers with rootbeer floats which she decided to make the trip to gets some. Unfortunately, the beach started filling up and our neighbors took down their tent and my sister lost her landmark back to our spot. To top it off her cell phone lost reception and we had a horrible time communicating. She was lost and getting frustrated by the minute! Luckily another beach neighbor was able to keep an eye on our spot while I left to rescue my stranded sis. After that fiasco we got to watch the rest of the ceremony and join the line of those who had lanterns. In this line of lantern let-goers, we met a "special" person named Sam and his mom. Their lantern was in memory of his father who they lost a few years back. He took a liking to my sister and I which made him keep blowing out his candle so I could re-light it for him. It was a very "unique" moment! We ended the night at the beach by making up words to "Hawaii Aloha" because we forgot the hawaiian lyrics! We were not making fun of the song, we were improvising! After the beach we spent an hour at the mall before it closed for the night. It was a very nice and special night with my sister.
Until next time, sistah!!!

In memory of Josh, Ephraim Sr., Cheryl, Lulu, and Grandma, Grandpa, our fallen military men and women, and all those who lost a loved one.

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