Hope you had a fun and safe holiday.
Today, I went in early for my oil change because I had to get down to the beach before sunset.
For the past 15 years, on Memorial Day, there's a lantern floating thingy at sunset and I've missed all 14 of them.
Well this year, I was determined to witness the event with my own eyeballs:
The sun was still sort of high when I got there.
If you squint yer eyeballs, you will see that the beach is lined with folks waiting for ceremony to begin. You gotta get there early to stake out a good spot; the paper estimated around 40,000 folks were going to show up.
So what's this lantern floating thing all about?
It's sort of a Buddhist thing, you write the name of someone on the floating lantern and set it adrift.
Well the tradition has like most things in Hawaii, crossed cultures so you don't even have to be Buddhist to participate.
Okay, the sun is getting lower!
I was quite a bit aways, the crowd was humungous and it was packed!
First you could see all the lit lanterns on the shoreline:
Then, they just float on out.
There's actually a barrier of lanterns out there to keep them from going to California. The lanterns are recovered, restored, and used again the next year.
Around 5,000 lanterns are prepared.
Pictures don't capture the feel and spectacle.
I should have gotten in closer, but I didn't want to push and shove my way through a solemn crowd just to take pictures.
If you know what I mean.
I stood and watched for a bit, thinking about all the names floating around out there; grand parents, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, friends and comrades.
Each floating light representing someone no longer among us.