Ka La Kau Pua (Memorial Day) Prayer for Warriors
Puowaina – Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Memorial Day is traditionally called Ka La Kau Pua or Decoration Day in Hawaii. It is observed in the islands as a day to remember the loss of loved ones and to honor the memory of those who gave their lives in the service to our country. Each Memorial Day, many of the island people drive up the slopes of Puowaina (“the Hill of Sacrifice”) known today as Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific to pay their respects and decorate the memorial resting places Hawaii’s fallen heroes with floral wreaths and leis as a symbol of aloha. The following is a prayer chant offered as our commemorative tribute to na koa Hawaii (the warriors of Hawaii) who have given our great country the gift of their unselfish courage and their lives as the ultimate sacrifice. This mele (poetic chant) was first performed by Kahu Silva on Verteran’s Day, 1997 as the opening prayer for ceremonies commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the ending of World War II.
Pule No Na Koa Hawaii
A Remembrance Prayer for Hawaii’s Warriors
I neia la, me ke aloha o ke Akua
On this Memorial Day, with God’s grace,
Ke ho`omana`o nei kakou
We take the opportunity to commemorate
I na hana nui o na koa Hawaii
The heroic deeds of Hawaii’s warriors
A me na koa mua o ko kakou aupuni
And the veteran soldiers of our great nation.
Mai poina kakou
Let us be ever mindful
I na mohai aloha o na koa
of their unselfish sacrifices
A na po`e kako`o a pau
And the support of those many others
I ha`awi I ko kakou ku`oko`a
Who gave us our liberty.
E pulama mau kakou
Let us cherish always
I ko kakou lokahi
Our spirit of unity as a nation
A me ka maluhia
And the peace that prevails
O keia `aina nei
Throughout the land.
Mai poina kakou
Let us never forget
I keia mau mea nui
The great feats of valor
O na koa Hawaii a pau
Of all our beloved soldiers of Hawaii.
Mai poina, mai poina, mai poina
Be mindful, never forget and remember always.
Haku ‘ia e (Composed by) Kahu Kalanikapuaenui Silva