Donors respond to plea
for Memorial Day lei

Star-Bulletin staff

The city has received a flood of calls in response to its plea for 50,000 lei to decorate the graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl for Memorial Day.

Hundreds of calls have poured in, city spokeswoman Ann Niino said this morning, since the city announced earlier this week that there might not be enough lei for every grave.

Niino said she is confident that the city will meet its goal of 50,000 lei. Extras will be sent to the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe.

Each year, schoolchildren and senior citizens string thousands of lei for the ceremony, but donations have dropped in recent years while the number of grave sites has increased.

Donations of 20- to 24-inch lei can be dropped off tomorrow at the following locations:

>> Ala Wai Community Park, Makua Alii Senior Center, Kaneohe Community and Senior Center, and the district parks in Halawa, Waianae, Wahiawa, Waiau and Waipahu from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

>> Fire stations No. 6 Kalihi, No. 12 Waipahu, No. 14 Waialua, No. 17 Kaneohe, No. 18 Kailua and No. 34 Hawaii Kai from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

>> The ground floor of the Honolulu Municipal Building at 650 S. King St. from 8 a.m. to noon.

Nearly 3,000 Boy Scouts will place the lei at Punchbowl grave sites on Sunday.

The Memorial Day ceremony at Punchbowl begins at 8:30 a.m. on Monday and includes speakers and music.

Free parking is available in the Civic Center parking lot, next to the Honolulu Municipal Building. A shuttle will take visitors from the municipal building to the cemetery.

TheBus also will offer a shuttle from the Alapai/Hotel Street bus lot to the cemetery every 15 minutes starting at 7:15 a.m. The destination sign will read "Special," and a placard in the windshield will read "Punchbowl." Regular fares will apply.

Those who park at the cemetery are reminded to turn off their car alarms because cannon firing will set them off and disrupt the service. From Friday to Monday, the usual two-way road to the cemetery will be made one-way to accommodate the influx of visitors. Visitors will take a right turn at the administrative building, and traffic will move counterclockwise around the cemetery. Also from Friday to Monday, left turns at Hookui to Auwaiolimu streets will be prohibited.

For more information on donating a lei or on the ceremony, call Ann Niino at 523-4527.

E-mail to City Desk


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