HANAPEPE — Nancy Bailey of Berkeley, California, knew that Saturday was International Peace Day. She just needed to know where there were events taking place.
“They told us about this during orientation this morning,” Bailey said. “There has to be a better way than war.”
That was the premise of the late U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga, one of the Kauai icons of peace being celebrated in Hanapepe during the Peace Day festivities taking place before several hundred people at the Kauai Soto Zen Temple Zenshuji.
Bailey was part of the parade from the Storybook Theatre of Hawaii to the temple that was designed to connect the two Kauai icons, the other being the Rev. Koichi Miyoshi, who was the resident minister at the temple when the World Peace Kannon Statue was erected next to the Bohdi Tree.
Jim Jung struck the church gong on the arrival of the peace walkers, who paused at the park behind the Hanapepe fire station to express their individual peace messages.
“I had the honor of striking the gong in Hiroshima,” said Jung. “I’m leaving early so I can take in the Peace Day candlelight vigil at the Lihue Hongwanji temple.”
The gathering featured performances from Taiko Kauai, Kauai Voices, the Bailes de Jose with Steven Domingo and Jose Bulatao, and hula performances by Ka Pa Hula o Hinano with kumu hula Troy Lazaro.
Arnold Meister, emcee for the event, said we gather to celebrate not only peace, but the international climate strike event Friday, and Matsunaga.
Eleele School fourth-grade students created strings of peace origami tsuru, or cranes, did expressions of peace during their instruction on Matsunaga, and were on hand to help during the festivities, where a portion of the proceeds will help the class with planned excursion.