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Address by Her Holiness Shinso Ito

Aloha!
Welcome to Lantern Floating Hawaii!

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to our honored guests, the staff and volunteers making this day possible, and to all of you here today.

Since 1999, Shinnyo-en has been holding this ceremony of light on Memorial Day. Today marks its 20th.

The founder of Shinnyo-en, Shinjo Ito taught, "Just as each unique river comes together to make up this one great ocean, it takes the coming together of each person’s wisdom and compassion to create a more peaceful world." "Many Rivers, One Ocean."

Carrying on his legacy with our theme, “Many Rivers, One Ocean,” we are thankful to have been able to continue and hold this shinnyo rite of expressing our gratitude to the past, appreciation to the present, and selfless conviction to act for the future. Together with all who cherish peace, Shinnyo-en is honored to carry on into the future this ceremony of kindling our inner light of harmony on the oceans of Hawaiʻi.

In a world of pain and polarization, it may be hard to look for perfect answers. But we must not let our anger or despair get the best of us. We are endowed with the unfailing wisdom that is generated when we strive to bring out the best in us. We are also inspired with the compassion to act on that wisdom for others. Our resolve to act with wisdom and compassion even in small but steadfast ways, leads us to a hope that can never be defeated.

Whether we are watching this at Ala Moana Beach, on television or the internet, each of us is unlike anyone else with our own views and thoughts. Each lantern also glows and glistens in its own way, but by coming together, they create a brilliance that dispels the darkness. When we, too, resonate with aloha, we are guided towards mutual dialogue and understanding, making it possible to live together in harmony. Letting our inner light of aloha shine through, making a difference in others’ lives, let us pave the way for a brighter tomorrow.

Namu Shinnyo, and Mahalo nui loa.