MaziEmail: Hawaii Statehood Day
Aloha, August 19, 2011
Sunday marks the anniversary of Hawaii becoming the 50th State. It is a moment for the citizens of our island state to reflect on the values that make Hawaii and the United States of America unique, dynamic, and strong.
As one of the most ethnically diverse states in the Union, we treasure our diversity and at the same time honor the Native Hawaiian host culture that underlies so much of who we are.
Many of us remember the foot-high headlines when Hawaii became a state and the excitement of that day. After being a territory for so long, achieving statehood represented a “coming of age” for Hawaii to many. To others, statehood also represented less positive aspects.
I have my own special connection with Hawaii’s statehood. My mother brought me to the islands from Japan in 1955, when I was almost 8 years old. Four years later, not only did Hawaii become a state, but that same year I became a naturalized U.S. citizen. To be able to serve the people of Hawaii today in the U.S. Congress is a privilege and an honor for me.
While statehood evokes different emotions in all of us, underlying these sometimes contradictory feelings is our love for Hawaii, which unites us. And so, on this Statehood Day, perhaps we can reflect on what brings us together, the Aloha Spirit – Hawaii’s great gift to our country and our world.
Mazie K. Hirono
Member of Congress
2nd District of Hawaii