Have you been to Lantern Floating Hawaii over the past 15 years? Tell us your story. You may also upload photos here.

Ten Most Recent Experiences

Image Experience Name Location
I had a great opportunity during our visit to Hawaii during this ceremony to extend my love and respects to my parents and to float the Lantern in Pacific Ocean in their memory. I wish to come back to Hawaii in future during this time again to tender my love and respect to be dedicated to mankind. Sumita Chaudhuri India
I attended the Ceremony last week, on May 2013. It was my first time in Hawaii and I really loved the place, the people and specially the Ceremony. It was a great pleasure for me to learn about Hawaiian traditions. I admire the way Hawaiians respect and pay tribute in remembrance of the ones who had fallen serving their country. It was really an amazing experience. I wish I had written some message to my beloved ones. But... who knows ? Maybe one day I'll be back there on Memorial Day and send a lantern full of grateful words to the ones I have in my mind and heart but that are not here with me anymore ! Elizabeth Rebellato Brazil (Santa Catarina)
I wanted to share my husband’s experience at the Lantern Floating Hawaii. My husband is SGT Kenneth Joshua Glass enlisted in the United States Army. His first duty station was in El Paso, Tx in the 978th Military Police Co. Shortly after he arrived at his first unit he learns he will have to deploy to Iraq. He was frightened and scared. He confided in his good friend Gary Moore for support. As I was saying my final good-byes to my husband and Gary I asked him to please keep him safe. Gary promised me that he would gladly take his place if that means he can make it home safe to see his daughter again. On June 21, 2008 at midnight his unit departs to Baghdad, Iraq. A soldier in his unit by the name of CPL James Hale was contemplating on taking his mid deployment leave early to experience the birth of his third child, Jordyn. Commander Barry Winnegan said it was at the best interest of the company to have him leave with the unit and would be able to see his child later on in his deployment. Cpt. Winnegan ensured his wife Jessica that he would make it home safe. CPL James Hale died in action on August 13th by an explosive device while completing a mission. James never got the chance to see his son Jordyn. Barry Winnegan felt somewhat responsible for his lost. His unit lost a soldier who was a devoted soldier, husband, and comrade. He is surely missed. On September 7, 2008 my husband receives an emergency Red Cross message that his daughter Luna is in the Children’s hospital battling an unknown blood disorder and is unsure how long or how serious the case is. On October 18th 2008 my husband decided to leave his fellow soldiers to be with his child in the hospital. Leaving his unit made his company shorthanded, so they had to change teams (driver, gunner, and team leader per HMMWV). His friend Gary took over his team, so he could be with his ill child. On March 16, 2008 Gary’s HMMWV is struck by an explosive device while completing a patrol. My husband felt responsible for the loss of his good friend Gary. His brother in arms gladly took his place. The Lantern Floating Hawaii gave the chance to release the burden caused by the loss of his good friend Gary. My husband also understands how his commander felt harboring the burden of CPL James Hale and felt it necessary to release his burden in the water as well. I want to thank you for the opportunity you gave my husband and my family to heal from this traumatic experience. Alasis Glass for Sgt Kenneth Joshua Glass Honolulu
I was interviewed by the Shinnyo-en camera crew at this years event. I shared that I had been coming to this event for the past 10 years since my son past away at the age of 15. What I didn't share was how special my son was to in the short time that I had the honor of having him in my life. My son Brian was a child with special needs. He born not being able to walk or talk. He was a special gift given to me by God. Before he was born, I imagined walking with him to the edge of the water and play in the shallow surf. I never imagined that the vision that I had would never come to be. Being part of The Memorial Day Lantern Floating allows me to imagine again that I am leading my son to the ocean and setting him out to be free to play which he did not have the opportunity to do so in this life. This I do to honor the love I have for my son. I am so thankful that I am able to experience this every year. Leimomi G Waiane HI
For Uncle George.. May your soul be at peace.. <3 <3 Ellen Numis New York
An absolutely amazing experience. A wonder to behold. I hope all will appreciate this magnificent experience. Ryan Hung Mililani, HI
I have experienced and been to every lantern ceremony except one since it began. Each and every year I go I always pay tribute and remember all those who I have lost grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, & Friends. It is also a time for me to remember the wonderful memories I shared with them. Last year was very hard for me, as I was paying tribute to my dad who I lost in September. While my family and I were writing our messages to him, the emotions that I felt were very overwhelming and hard to control. I just would like to say to those who have never been to one of these lantern ceremonies, actually being there in person is more emotional than watching on TV. Just seeing all the people from around the world, gathering together is very touching. The healing together is very emotional and comforting. Todd K Honolulu, Hi
I attended my first Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony in 2009 out of curiosity. I had an idea of what the floating lantern ceremony was about; however, what I did not expect, was my personal journey of forgiveness and healing. For a long time I held on to feelings of guilt because I had not honored my Father since he passed away on May 1997. The negative feelings that I kept within me did not allow me to move forward in life and were also destructive. In 2010, I made sure that I would honor my Father with a lantern. I sat at the table and struggled to write my dedication. I found myself overwhelmed and ashamed over a simple task. On the panel I wrote “Dear Dad, It’s been a long time for me to do this. Forgive me. I miss you very much. Happy Birthday Dad. Love Your Son.” I looked at what I wrote and I was overcome with emotion because after 12 years I had finally allowed myself to grieve. When I placed my lantern on the water, I offered a prayer and for a brief moment the air was still and I knew my Dad’s presence was with me. I saw my Dad’s lantern drift away with the other lanterns and the burden of guilt was no longer a part of me; I felt a sense of peace. It is amazing how a lantern can change my life. It is an incredible experience to see the thousands and thousands of lanterns floating, each with a tribute and personal message of love and hope. Since attending my first Lantern Floating Ceremony, I have brought friends to share in the experience. I also made a promise to myself that when my heart is in the right place I would somehow show my gratitude. This year I chose to volunteer as a way to show my gratitude to everyone who is a part of the Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony. It is humbling to see that the many hands helping to prepare for the Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony will in turn be helping someone too. Mahalo for the experience. Conrad M. conrad m Honolulu, Hawaii

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