|King Kamehameha statue outside Hickam Elementary School|
Southern California may have the Rose Bowl Parade ... but the State of Hawaii has King Kamehameha Day with floral parades throughout the islands. Born on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kamehameha fulfilled three prophecies to unite the Hawaiian Islands through warfare and treaty by 1810. Known as the Napoleon of the Pacific, he protected the united islands from becoming European colonies while using European weaponry to accomplish his goal. Kamehameha then "retired' back to the Big Island of Hawaii until his death in 1819. His great-grandson, Kamehameha V, established the holiday by Royal Decree in 1871. Today it is a state holiday to celebrate Hawaiian culture.
|King Kamehameha Statue on the Big Island|
The young royal warrior Kamehameha, headstrong with youth, was paddling a war canoe with his men near the shoreline of Ke'eau, in Puna, Maui. Seeking a place to rest, they came upon some commoners fishing on a beach, and attacked them. All escaped, except for two men who stayed behind to defend a man carrying a child on his back.
During the struggle, the young chief's foot caught in some lava rocks, and he was trapped there. One of the fishermen struck Kamehameha on the head with a paddle, and the paddle splintered. It was a blow that could have killed the young future King.
The man who hit him, in defending the child, allowed Kamehameha to survive. The young chief never forgot this act of forgiveness. This commoner taught Kamehameha that all human life is precious and deserves respect, that the strong must not mistreat the weak.
Kamehameha could have taken revenge on the fisherman, but he learned from the experience instead, and made forgiveness part of Hawaii's heritage, and its future.
Years later, King Kamehameha I proclaimed Mamalahoe, the Law of the Splintered Paddle. It provides that any old person, woman or child may "lie by the roadside in safety." This means that anyone who is weak is entitled to protection and assistance, and to respect, even from the King.
Kim in Hawaii
|Kamehameha built the Pu'ukohala Heiau to fulfil his destiny.|