Sen. Mazie K. Hirono joined hundreds of guests with Hawaii ties Sunday at the U.S. Capitol to participate in the 44th annual lei draping ceremony honoring King Kamehameha the Great.
Attendees included members of the Hawaii Congressional Delegation, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Hawaii State Society.
Hawaii observes Kamehameha Day on June 11.
Hirono gave closing remarks at the ceremony.
“We gather to honor the first King of Hawaii, Kamehameha the Great,” Hirono said. “From the island of Hawaii, Kamehameha was raised to become a skilled warrior in the traditional ways of combat, uniting the islands we all know as Hawaii. He laid the foundations for modern Hawaii by protecting the traditions and culture of his ancestors even as the kingdom grew and interacted with Western nations. His strong leadership during this period of great change inspires us all to work together to ensure our shared traditions and history can be celebrated for generations to come.”