Photo: Diane Peters-Nguyen stands in front of the Red Cross flag
Diane Peters-Nguyen stands in front of the Red Cross flag that Queen Lili‘uokalani herself helped to sew. Lili‘uokalani was instrumental in establishing the Red Cross in Hawaiʻi. She presented the flag to the Red Cross on Sept. 14, 1917, two months before she passed away. The flag flew above ʻIolani Palace during World War I. Today, it is displayed in the board room of the Hawaiʻi Red Cross headquarters at Diamond Head. - Photo: Courtesy

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Na Diane Peters-Nguyen, CEO, American Red Cross, Pacific Islands Region Unuhi ʻia e Manuwai Peters

I koʻu hānai ʻia ʻana, ua lohe pinepine ʻia e aʻu nā moʻolelo no koʻu kupuna wahine, ʻo Mollie Kananipauʻole Akana Peters – a me ka hoʻolauleʻa ʻia ʻana o kona lā hānau e ke Kuini ʻo Liliʻuokalani hoʻi. Ua noho ka ʻohana o koʻu kupuna wahine ma ka ʻāina o ke Kuini ma Waikīkī ma ka ʻāina i kapa ʻia ʻo Hamohamo. Ua ʻōlelo mau ʻia maila e koʻu makuakāne, i ka hānau ʻia o koʻu kupuna wahine ma ka lā ʻekolu o Kepākemapa (hoʻokahi lā ma hope o ko ke Kuini lā hānau), na ka ukali o ke Kuini, ʻo ia hoʻi ʻo “Big Tūtū” i haʻi pololei aku i ke Kuini, ua hānau ʻia mai kēia pēpē. ʻO ka makahiki 1905 nō ia. Mai ia manawa aku, ʻano pili ke Kuini i kēia pēpē, ʻo koʻu kupuna wahine hoʻi.

A i nā lā ʻekolu o Kepākemapa i kaʻa maila, ua hoʻokaʻawale ʻia aku kekahi noho paipai ma ka lānai o ka hale no ke Kuini i kona wā e kipa mai ai iā Kananipauʻole ma ia lā kūikawā no ia keiki. Ua kono pū mai ke Kuini iā Kananpauʻole e launa me ia ma ka lā ʻelua o Kepākemapa, ka lā hānau nō o Liliʻuokalani.

A hala nā makahiki, lilo koʻu makuakāne, ʻo David M. Peters i poʻokahu no ka hoʻoilina a ke Kuini, ʻo ia hoʻi ʻo Liliʻuokalani Trust (LT) ma kahi o kanakolu mau makahiki. He mea kūmau no nā kahu, nā lima hana, a me nā keiki o LT e hoʻohanohano i ke Kuini i kona lā hānau i nā makahiki a pau. A hala hou a’e nā makahiki a e noho ana au, ʻo au ka pelekikena no Hui Hānai, ua hiki iaʻu ke hoʻomau aku i kēia hana hoʻohanohano i ke Kuini a me kona hoʻoilina aloha ma o ka paʻi puke e like me Diaries of Queen Liliʻuokalani of Hawaiʻi, i loihape a hoʻonoho ʻia na David Forbes.

Ma mua o koʻu ʻae ʻana i koʻu kūlana nei ma Red Cross, ua aʻo mai au i ka hana a ke Kuini e hoʻokumu iā Hawaiʻi Red Cross. He kākoʻo nui ʻo ia ma muli o kona manaʻo paʻa i ka nuʻukia pili kanaka o Red Cross. I ka mahina ʻo Kepākemapa o ka makahiki 1917 ʻo kekahi o nā mea hope loa āna i hana ai ma mua o kona hala ʻana, ʻo ia nō ka hāʻawi manawaleʻa ʻana aku he hoʻokahi haneli kālā e lilo i lālā hou o Red Cross. Me ia makana i hoʻomaka ai kā mākou hoʻoulu lālā mua loa. I ua makahiki lā, ua ulu a 16,000 mau lālā hou – he nui nō i ia manawa ma Hawaiʻi.

Ma mua o kēia hoʻoulu lālā ʻana, na ke Kuini me nā kōkua i humuhumu i kekahi hae Red Cross nui i welo hoʻi ma luna o ka hale aliʻi ʻo ʻIolani i ka wā o ke Kaua Honua I. I ke Kuini i hāʻawi aku ai i ia hōʻailona i ka hui Red Cross i ka lā 14 o Kepākemapa o ka makahiki 1917, ua ʻōlelo akula ʻo ia “He hōʻailona kēia hae o kuʻu aloha minamina no ke kanaka.”

I koʻu lā hana mua loa ma Hawaiʻi Red Cross i ka mahina ʻo Iulai i ka makahiki 2020, hōʻea pīhoihoi aku au i ke keʻena nui ma Lēʻahi a noi pololei aku au e hōʻike mai iaʻu i kā ke Kuini Hae. Ua lawe ʻia au i ka lumi hālāwai o nā kahu, kahi e kau paʻa ai ia hae ma ka pahu aniani me ka lāʻau koa. Kāhāhā au i kona aloha. Pā mai iaʻu ka mana o ke Kuini i loko nō o nā kaula pākahi a pau i humuhumu ʻia ma ia hae. A i ia manawa nō i ʻike leʻa ai au, ua kohu pono koʻu kuleana a ʻo kēia kaʻu hana e pono ai ke kanaka.