By Wendy Osher
The state will bestow the prestigious Aloha Order of Merit upon former US Sen. Daniel K. Akaka during a ceremony on Monday, January 14, 2013.
The recognition is considered one of the highest honors to be issued by the state to individuals to have provided extraordinary service, and brought great honor to the State of Hawai’i.
“I can think of no one who exemplifies devotion to the people of Hawaii and embodies the aloha spirit more than Sen. Akaka,” said Gov. Abercrombie, who will join members of the state Legislature in hosting the ceremony in the House Chambers of the State Capitol.
The Aloha Order of Merit was established in 1993 by the Legislature to honor individuals who have distinguished themselves nationally or internationally and who contributed to the attainment of statehood or have provided extraordinary service to, devoted themselves to the betterment of, or brought honor to the state.
Upon request of the governor, members of the order may serve as emissaries for the people of Hawaii. Selection of the honoree is made by the Aloha Order of Merit Committee, which consists of Sen. Galuteria, Rep. Faye Hanohano and Noelani Kalipi, and announced by the governor after receiving the approval of the Legislature by concurrent resolution.
The public is invited to attend the public event, scheduled to run from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Remarks will be provided by Sen. Akaka as well as Gov. Abercrombie, Speaker of the House Calvin K.Y. Say, Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and Aloha Order of Merit Committee chair Sen. Brickwood Galuteria.
Ceremonial elements will include presentation of the official Aloha Order of Merit medallion, oli and pule by Kahu Danny Akaka, Jr., and performances by Malia Kaai-Barrett and the Kawaiahao Church Choir.
***Supporting information courtesy Office of the Governor, State of Hawai’i.