Aloha Festivals Floral Parade float to honor fallen heroes

The 68th Annual Aloha Festivals Floral Parade takes place this Saturday and, in addition to highlighting Hawaiian culture, will include a tribute to American heroes.

The new float is a reflection of this year’s theme, Maluhia Honua or World Peace with Aloha.

Keiki spent the day putting the final touches on the moving message of remembrance.

Mya Williams was one of them. She was just three years old when her father, Eugene, was killed in Iraq.

Traffic Alert

Honolulu drivers should anticipate road closures and travel delays in the area. The parade starts at 9 a.m., proceeds down Ala Moana Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue, and ends at Kapiolani Park. Ala Moana Boulevard and Kalakaua Avenue will be closed at 8:30 a.m. and reopened at the discretion of the Honolulu Police Department.

“Do you have memories of him?” KHON2 asked.

“Yes, well kind of, but mostly stories that my mom tells me and pictures that she shows me all the time, just to remember him,” Williams said.

Her younger sister, Monica-Shyann Delacruz-Williams, only has stories.

“He was killed March 29, 2003, and I was born June 7, 2003,” Delacruz-Williams said.

Delacruz-Williams placed her father’s boots on the float Friday.

“These are my dad’s boots that he wore when he was in combat,” she said. “People are going to see the boots and they’ll know, and everybody can honor and remember them.”

There will be several pairs of boots on the float, representing a lot of memories.

Loved ones KHON2 spoke with say they hope parade goers will appreciate the sacrifice that all of soldiers make.

“I just hope people get to see and understand what we are going through, or just to see us and how we’re doing,” Williams said.

There will also be a number of floats with pa’u riders, marching bands and hula halau.

What is known today as Aloha Festivals was created in 1946, as Aloha Week, a cultural celebration of Hawaii’s music, dance and history intended to perpetuate our unique traditions.

A group of former Jaycees, known as the Jaycees Old-Timers of Hawaii, had the vision to create a public celebration to honor Hawaii’s cosmopolitan heritage and is now a statewide tradition.

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