Getting lei ready for Memorial Day

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Cub Scouts from Pack 168, including Dorian Spaulding, Tobias Spauling, Cuewynn Anical, Tech Yadao, lone Boy Scout from Troop 168 Christian Lardizabal, Elias Gaines, Hunter Langtad, and Ethan Badua enjoy a watermelon break after running out of 4,000 floral creations that the Scouts and parent volunteers placed on graves at cemeteries in the Lihue and Puhi areas Saturday. Kathleen Langtad, the Cubmaster, said the cemeteries contain graves of veterans and the Memorial Day deed is done to not forget these veterans.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    The Kauai Girl Scouts of Hawaii programs manager Angela Hoover, front right, teaches young Girl Scouts how to start a ti leaf lei Friday during the Lei of Aloha table the Girl Scouts hosted at Kukui Grove Center to invite people to help sew lei for the Kauai Veterans Cemetery, where the Memorial Day service will take place Monday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kimi Blaum of the Kauai Veterans Council, left, joins Grove Farm staff including Arryl Kaneshiro, Erin Tsuda, Colbie Kanoho and Sharyl Lam Yuen Friday morning in packing some 200 lei for the Memorial Day service Monday at Kauai Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kimi Blaum of the Kauai Veterans Council, third from right, accepts some 200 lei in the Grove Farm Company Puhi headquarters conference room, created by Grove Farm employees including Erin Tsuda, Arryl Kaneshiro, Koa Duncan, Colbie Kanoho, Sharyl Lam Yuen and Dave Hinazumi. Residents of the Regency at Puakea assisted-living facility in Puhi also created some of these lei. The lei are for the Memorial Day services Monday at Kauai Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Aida Cruz of the Kauai Veterans Center and Mary Kay Hertog, commandant of the Kauai Veterans Council, finalize acceptance of lei Thursday afternoon ahead of transporting the lei to Wong’s Restaurant in Hanapepe, where they are refrigerated for Monday’s Memorial Day service at Kauai Veterans Cemetery.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Aida Cruz of the Kauai Veterans Center prepares lei for shipment to Wong’s Restaurant in Hanapepe, where the lei will be refrigerated for the Memorial Day services Monday at Kauai Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe.

LIHUE — Lei that will decorate graves at the Kauai Veterans Cemetery started arriving Thursday afternoon at the Kauai Veterans Center.

More than 500 lei created by Kilauea School, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, and the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School, were spread out over the tables in the center conference room. Lei created by schools on the Westside dropped their loads directly at Wong’s Restaurant for refrigeration until Monday’s Memorial Day serices at the Kauai Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe, said Aida Cruz of the Kauai Veterans Center.

“These are lei that will decorate our veterans cemetery,” Cruz said. “Last year, Kauai Complex Area Superintendent William Arakaki said all the lei created by our Kauai students will stay here instead of being shipped to Oahu. These are lei created by our keiki for our veterans.”

The early arrival of lei are in refrigerators through the courtesy of Wong’s Restaurant until Monday morning when the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts will place the lei on individual graves along with American flags.

“This is so beautiful,” said Gen. Mary Kay Hertog, Kauai Veterans Council commandant. “They not only smell sweet, they’re so pretty and is the perfect touch to pay tribute to our people who paid the ultimate price for freedom. The Kauai Veterans Council wants to thank all those who took the time and effort to create these lei.”

The Kauai Veterans Council will host the annual Memorial Day service Monday starting at 10 a.m., with appearances by Hawaii Senate President Ron Kouchi, state Reps. Nadine Nakamura and James Tokioka, and other government leaders.

Waimea High School will be offering the services of its band under the direction of David Leong, and the JROTC units under Major (Ret.) Victor Aguilar, which will be participating with their Honor Guard and Color Guard.

Additional lei were created by Grove Farm Company employees, continuing a tradition they started several years ago where they harvest flowers from the various company properties and sew lei in their Puhi office.

“Everyone was working full force Thursday,” said Sharyl Lam Yuen of the Grove Farm Foundation. “We had five of the ‘Golden Girls’ from Regency at Puakea — Lillian Takanishi, Jessie Hirano, Hannah Furuta, Hatsuko Kawaguchi and Shimoe Mukai — joining our office crew in sewing. Hazel Shimabukuro, the mother of one of our people, also joined in the effort.”

Lam Yuen said a floral donation from Liz Aguino helped the group meet its goal of making at least 200 lei for the graves.

“Liz said she was glad to help,” Lam Yuen said. “Her husband is a veteran and is here. Her son is also a veteran, but is deceased.”

Kathleen Langtad, cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 168, led both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from Troop 168 Saturday when the group embarked on their annual Good Turn project of placing floral creations at the gravesites of about five cemeteries in the Lihue-Puhi area.

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