I have to admit to being stunned. I shouldn’t have been since Barack’s roots are here, but I have to admit it — I was speechless (for all of about 3 seconds).
Just in case you missed it, I am more than happy to share it with everyone here! I missed it when it first came out. I heard about it through word-of-mouth from about three or four different sources, including the morning news, and then I had no problem spreading it around! This is kind of how the conversations went:
“Did you hear about the President’s proclamation?”
“What proclamation?” was the usual, wide-eyed response. I think the expectation was that there was something new about the economic drama or some new find or fix for the oil spill — since those have been the buzz topics taking over the news recently.
“He said the country should recognize King Kamehameha Day!”
“Isn’t that something?” was my usual reply with a big grin.
Still don’t believe me? Here it is, verbatim, from the White House website:
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
June 10, 2010
Two hundred years ago, King Kamehameha the Great brought the Hawaiian Islands together under a unified government. His courage and leadership earned him a legacy as the “Napoleon of the Pacific,” and today his humanity is preserved in Ke Kanawai Mamalahoe, or “the Law of the Splintered Paddle.” This law protects civilians in times of war and remains enshrined in Hawaii’s constitution as “a unique and living symbol of the State’s concern for public safety.”
On this bicentennial King Kamehameha Day, we celebrate the history and heritage of the Aloha State, which has immeasurably enriched our national life and culture. The Hawaiian narrative is one of both profound triumph and, sadly, deep injustice. It is the story of Native Hawaiians oppressed by crippling disease, aborted treaties, and the eventual conquest of their sovereign kingdom. These grim milestones remind us of an unjust time in our history, as well as the many pitfalls in our Nation’s long and difficult journey to perfect itself. Yet, through the peaks and valleys of our American story, Hawaii’s steadfast sense of community and mutual support shows the progress that results when we are united in a spirit of limitless possibility.
In the decades since their persecution, Native Hawaiians have remained resilient. They are part of the diverse people of Hawaii who, as children of pioneers and immigrants from around the world, carry on the unique cultures and traditions of their forebears. As Americans, we can all admire these traits, as well as the raw natural beauty of the islands themselves. Truly, the Aloha Spirit of Hawaii echoes the American Spirit, representing the opportunities we all have to grow and learn from one another as we carry our Nation toward a brighter day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 11, 2010, as King Kamehameha Day. I call upon all Americans to celebrate the rich heritage of Hawaii with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
I don’t need to say anything; it speaks for itself. The only thing that comes to mind is to say to the President, “Mahalo, bruddah!”