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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA Board Chair statement on state designating July 31 “A Special Day Of Observance” remembering Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea

At the state capitol this morningGov. David Ige held a commemorative bill presentation marking the passage of HB2475, which designates July 31 of each year as a special day of observance in honor of Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea, or Sovereignty Restoration Day. In 1843, Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea commemorated the reinstatement of the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom after the British ambassador and a British Navy captain illegally seized control of the nation. It was King Kauikeaouli Kamehameha III who established this first national holiday of the Hawaiian Kingdom following the return of the government by the United Kingdom, proclaiming “Ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono – the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness,” which would become the motto of the monarchy and in 1959 the official motto of the State of Hawaiʻi. Each year, this proclamation will present an exceptional opportunity to inform all of Hawai’i and especially our future generations of the important and unique history of our islands. It has been said that only by remembering our past can we breathe ea – sovereignty and independence – into our future. Mahalo to Rep. Mark Nakashima for introducing this bill, to our state legislators and to Gov. Ige, by signing it into law, recognizing the importance of King Kamehameha III’s established holiday in a days-long celebration following the rightful return of sovereign government to Hawaiʻi by the United Kingdom.

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