Monday, November 19, 2007

Peace Tree

On Tuesday, November 20th, at 2:00 p.m., Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu and Senator Carol Fukunaga will lead a group of peace supporters in planting a kukui tree near the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol. The kukui (Aleurites Moluccana), our official Hawaii State Tree, was donated by the UH College of Tropical Agriculture to become Hawaii's first Peace Tree. In a traditional ceremony coordinated by Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee and Hawaii Peace Day committee member John Waihee IV, the ground will first be prepared and nourished by a placement of a fish. A special o'o stick was carved to be used to turn the soil.

The kukui became the official state tree on May 1, 1959. The 30th Territorial Legislature adopted Joint Resolution #3 that read in part:

WHEREAS, the kukui tree is a native tree to all the islands of Hawai'i and,

WHEREAS, the multiplicity of its uses to the ancient Hawai'ians for light, fuel, medicine, dye, and ornament and to the continued value to the people of modern Hawai'i, as well as the distinctive beauty of its light green foliage which embellishes many of the slopes of our beloved mountains, causes the kukui tree to be especially treasured by the people of the Fiftieth State of the United States as an arboreal symbol of Hawai'i...

Hawaii became the first state in the country to establish an official state Peace Day, to be celebrated each year on September 21st, in coordination with the United Nations International Day of Peace.

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