A celebration and solemn remembrance of Queen Lili'uokalani was held Sunday, September 1st, on the grounds of the Iolani Palace. The celebration marks the 175th-anniversary of her birth. The solemn remembrance is for her being deposed by American business interests, backed up by about two hundred Marines and armed sailors in 1893 and her subsequent attempts to save the Kingdom of Hawaii from annexation by the United States. Her efforts were unsuccessful and in 1898, the former Kingdom of Hawaii became a territory of the United States and ultimately, the fiftieth state, in 1959.
The first speaker today, a Methodist minister, spoke eloquently about the queen. She underscored the fact that throughout high school and college, she had never heard of this amazing woman, Queen Lili'uokalani. Me, either. Maybe it's time for a little revising of the old history books!!
I heartily recommend reading more about her amazing life. The 103rd U.S. Congress passed United States Public Law 103-150, signed by President William Jefferson Clinton in 1993. It is also known as, "The Apology Resolution". It acknowledges U.S. involvement in the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii by agents and citizens of the United States and further acknowledges the fact that the people of Hawaii never directly relinquished to the United States their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people over their national lands.
And, wouldn't you know it...The U.S. Supreme Court, in 2009, decided that the resolution was no basis for claims against the U.S. Government. What a surprise! My guess is that when less than a thousand native Hawaiians remain on the planet, our kind and just government will relent and grant these aging few some meaningless and legally non-binding "rights", or maybe another nice resolution.
On a lighter note...The Queen also composed many songs. Perhaps her most famous piece, "Aloha Oe", has become one of the most iconic songs of Hawaii. I always thought it was about two lovers saying goodbye. It has been suggested also, that, "Farewell to Thee", it's English title, is a lament for her lost Kingdom. Either way, it will always be a favorite of mine and I'm proud to announce that I can play it on my recently-purchased ukulele. :)
Here are a few photos from our day: