15,000 Memorial Day lei donated for graves
The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl yesterday collected more than 15,000 lei as donors and volunteers from around the island stepped up to ensure that its 33,000 grave sites are adorned with flowers on Memorial Day.
Roughly 4,000 lei are still needed for the cemetery, officials said yesterday.
As of Friday, the State Veterans Cemetery in Kāne'ohe was also seeking about 9,000 lei to mark its grave sites.
While gathering enough lei to decorate graves at the cemeteries is an annual challenge, several factors have made this year's effort more difficult, including shortages of orchids from Thailand and tuberose from the Big Island.
An early end to the public school year also meant that schools that traditionally help with lei making were unavailable.
Both cemeteries will continue to accept lei donations today.