Legislature gives us new reasons to celebrate
FOR A STATE that has 13 or 14 (in election years) state holidays, Hawaii does not appear to need any more special days.
But, the Legislature knows that we are actually deprived of all sorts of days of recognition, commemoration and observance.
In just one legislative session, the Legislature marked five new days to add to your calendar. None are to be official state holidays, as in "you don't have to come to work" days, but they are all times of special note.
The first isn't actually a day, it is a whole week. Conservation Week will be the last week in July of every year, if Gov. Linda Lingle follows the instructions of HCR 127. It will be a time for "long-term management of Hawaii's natural resources through collaborative meetings, training and outreach among land managers, scientists and the general public," according to the resolution.
It is not known if the ousted land and natural resources director, Peter Young, can attend.
The Legislature is asking Lingle to make Aug. 3 John Papa Ii Day, "In honor of his long service to the people of Hawaii." The Bishop Museum describes Ii as "among the first Hawaiians to study reading and writing with the missionaries, yet although he adopted Christian teachings, he retained a profound love and respect for the culture of his ancestors."
His dad hung out with King Kamehameha and Ii was tight with Liholiho and Kamehameha III. He also was the Hawaiian nation's first school superintendent and was on the Hawaii Supreme Court. I bet he would have been a great guy to have a beer with, so why not give him his own day?
In September, the Legislature has designated the 21st as Peace Day. There will be programs to increase educational awareness of peace. Just remember to peacefully show up for work, because it is not a holiday.
At the end of the year, the week following the Chinese New Year is now proclaimed "Asian Lunar New Year Week of Commemoration in Hawaii." Nope, it is also not a state holiday and you can't light up extra fireworks, but maybe it will give us some official good luck.
Next year, get ready for Hawaiian Restoration Day, when -- thanks to HCR 82 -- we can remember President Grover Cleveland, who was not a fan of the United States taking over Hawaii.
Sadly, next year we will most likely have another "Honoring our Soldiers Day" like the one we had last May 27 to honor troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.